Bob Schieffer, anchor of CBS News’ Face the Nation and a familiar face to millions of Americans through a TV career spanning half a century, is planning to retire this summer.
“It’s been a great adventure,” he said announcing his retirement decision on Wednesday at his alma mater, Texas Christian University.
“You know, I’m one of the luckiest people in the world because as a little boy, as a young reporter, I always wanted to be a journalist, and I got to do that. And not many people get to do that, and I couldn’t have asked for a better life or something that was more fun and more fulfilling,” he added.
Here’s what you need to know about the legendary newsman:
1. He Has Interviewed Every President Since Richard Nixon
Schieffer covered all the major beats in Washington during his distinguished career — the Pentagon, White House, Congress and the State Department.
He was named as anchor and moderator of Face the Nation — CBS News’ popular Sunday public affairs show – in 1991.
He moderated three presidential debates in 2004, 2008 and 2012 and has interviewed President Obama three times, most recently last November.
2. He Is 78 and a Cancer Survivor
He was born in Austin, Texas, and grew up in Fort Worth where he graduated from North Side High School and Texas Christian University.
He served three years in the U.S. Air Force. Schieffer married Patricia Penrose in 1967 and has two daughters.
Schieffer is a survivor of grade III bladder cancer. He was diagnosed in 2003 and has been cancer-free since 2004. He has been diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes and is on insulin therapy
CBS News President David Rhodes called Schieffer “an inspiration and a mentor to so many colleagues– and frankly, to me.”
3. He Is in His 24th Year as Anchor of ‘Face the Nation’
Face the Nation celebrated its 60th anniversary last year – and Schieffer has been at the helm for 24 of them. He has been with CBS News for 50 years.
In addition to his anchor role, Shieffer is also the Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News.
Speculation will immediately start about potential successors to Schieffer. His primary substitute on Face the Nation is Norah O’Donnell, who is also a co-host of CBS This Morning.
4. He Tweeted His Retirement after Announcing His Decision at Texas Christian University, His Alma Mater
After making the announcement at the annual Schieffer Symposium at Texas Christian University, he took to Twitter to tell the rest of the country.
He tweeted: ”Great talking journalism at @TCU tonight. Also really happy to be in my hometown, where it all started, to announce my retirement.”
5. He Has Won Every Award in Broadcast Journalism
Schieffer won virtually every award in broadcast journalism, including eight Emmys, the overseas Press Club Award, the Paul White Award presented by the TV News Directors Association, and the Edward R. Murrow Award given by Murrow’s alma mater Washington State University.
In 2008, he was named a living legend by the Library of Congress