Share This Page:
A familiar presence on TV for almost thirty years, Jane Pauley’s career spans morning, daytime, and primetime television making her one of the most recognizable personalities in America. Pauley began her journalism career in her hometown of Indianapolis in 1972. In 1975, she joined NBC and at the age of 24 became the first woman to co-anchor a weeknight evening newscast at WMAQ in Chicago. Barely a year later, she was named co-host of “The Today Show” and began her 13-year tenure. First teamed with Tom Brokaw and then Bryant Gumbel, she interviewed thousands of newsmakers in locations around the world, including London for the weddings of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, Rome where “Today” televised its audience with Pope John Paul II, and the Great Wall of China.
After many years in morning television, Pauley switched to primetime, anchoring the Sunday edition of “NBC Nightly News” as well as “Real Life with Jane Pauley,” “Time and Again,” the retrospective news program on MSNBC, and a highly successful 11-year run with NBC’s top-rated award-winning magazine show, “Dateline.” She ended her run with a primetime special, “Jane Pauley: Signing Off.” The special attracted record ratings for the network. Pauley returned to daytime television the following year as host of “The Jane Pauley Show.”
In 2001, while undergoing treatment for an idiopathic (unknown caused) outbreak of hives, Pauley was given a cortisone-based drug that induced a hypomanic episode doctors recognized as Bipolar Disorder, a diagnosis highly unusual for a woman nearing 50, which they were able to stabilize shortly thereafter. Her subsequent journey of self-reflection and wellness resulted in the candid and unique autobiography, “Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue,” published in 2004.
Jane Pauley has been honored with many awards for her work, including multiple Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism, and a Paul White Award for lifetime contribution to electronic journalism from the Radio Television News Directors Association, and the Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual for her interviews with Anita Hill, Oksana Baiul, and Jenny Jones from American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT). In addition, she was awarded the first international Matrix Award from the Association for Women in Communications for the highest level of professional excellence. In 1998, she was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and the following year was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Indiana Historical Society.
A former trustee of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, Pauley is the Chairperson of the Advisory Council of the Children’s Health Fund. She serves on the Advisory Board of The International Council of Freedom from Hunger and is a fellow with the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ).
She is a graduate of Indiana University. She and her husband, cartoonist Garry Trudeau, have three children.