Shaw, George Bernard
George Bernard Shaw. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

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Shaw, Bernard 1940–

Bernard Shaw 1940

Television news anchor and reporter

At a Glance

Hungry for International Experience

Taking a Career Gamble

Chicken Noodle Network

From The Center of Hell

A Star Is Born

Sources

Television news anchor Bernard Shaws dispassionate manner, steady gaze, rich baritone voice, and crisply precise delivery virtually blend into the fabric of the news. As Cable News Networks (CNN) principal Washington anchor, he takes a serious approach to journalism and is widely regarded for his belief that the messenger should not get in the way of the message. Shaw has worked for two of the three national television networks, CBS and ABC, and holds the number one anchor position at a number one ranked TV news networkthe fourth networkCNN. In a career spanning three decades, he has covered some of modern historys most dramatic events: Watergate (a political scandal that centered on the infiltration of Democratic party headquarters by Republicans during the 1972 presidential campaign), the 1978 Jonestown mass suicide, the Nicaraguan Revolution, Chinas Tiananmen Square student massacre, and American involvement in the Persian Gulf War. As CNNs top anchor, Shaw is at the helm of televisions news phenomenon: a 24-hour, all-news cable network that has arisen as a challenge to the three leading networks.

Shaw is one of the rare few who has realized his childhood dreams. He grew up during the years of World War II, the emergence of television, and the days that begat the baby boom. His father was a house painter, his mother cleaned other peoples homes, and they lived on the South Side of Chicago. But far from being isolated in the wrong part of town and at the wrong end of the economic spectrum, the family brought the world into their home. In those days, Shaw told Parade Magazine, Chicago had four papers and we got all four every day. Even in his teens, Shaw had an obsessive interest in the news. My ritual on Sunday morning was to walk to a place called the Green Door bookstore near the University of Chicago, which was the closest place I could find the Sunday New York Times, Shaw told New York magazine. Fourteen years old, paper cradled in his arms, the boy would plant himself in a coffeeshop and read the paper all the way through. But Shaw was not merely a spectator. He made announcements on the school public address system, participated in radio amateur hours, and, while some teenagers of the 1950s may have been totally absorbed in the birth of rock n roll, Shaw found time to dial up newspaper and broadcast reporters and pepper them with questions about story preparation and deadline

At a Glance

Born May 22, 1940, in Chicago, IL; son of Edgar (a railroad man and house painter) and Camilia (a housekeeper; maiden name, Murphy) Shaw; married Linda Allston, 1973; children: Amar Edgar, Anil Louise. Education: Attended University of Illinois, 1963-66.

Reporter, correspondent, and news anchor. WYNR/WNUS all-news radio, Chicago, IL, reporter and anchor, 1964-66; Westinghouse Broadcasting Companys Group W, Chicago, reporter, 1966-68, White House correspondent, 1968-71; Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS-TV), reporter for Washington bureau, 1971-74, correspondent, 1974-77; American Broadcasting Companies (ABC-TV), Miami bureau chief and Latin American correspondent, 1977-79, also ABC-News senior Capitol Hill correspondent; Cable News Network (CNN), Washington DC, news anchor, 1980; one of three CNN Gulf War correspondents in Baghdad, 1991. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1959-63.

Awards: International Platform Associations Lowell Thomas Electronic Journalist Award, 1988; Award for Cable Excellence from the National Academy of Cable Programming, 1988; Emmy Award, 1989, for outstanding coverage of a single breaking news story; gold medal, 32nd annual International Film and TV Festival of New York, 1989; National Association of Black Journalists annual award, 1989; George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award, 1990; ACE Award, 1990; Bernard Shaw Endowment Fund created by University of Illinois, 1991; Eduard Rhein Foundations Cultural-H/Journalistic Award, 1991.

Member: Society of Professional Journalists (fellow), National Press Club, Sigma Delta Chi.

Addresses: Office Cable News Network, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 111 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001.

pressures. Even in his youth, Shaws tastes in television programming ran toward the news and information genre: he used to watch the television news program Meet the Press religiously, and his hero was legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow. At 16, he personally witnessed his second Democratic conventionhe had managed to engineer his way into both the 1952 and 1956 conventions. Shaw told Time: When I looked up at the anchor booths, I knew I was looking at the altar.

On the road to the altar, Shaw wangled another opportunity to speak to a journalist about his craft. It was 1961, the beginning of an era of political tensions that resulted in such historic moves as the construction of the Berlin Wall by the East German government and the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis (a period of threatened military confrontation between the U.S. and Soviet governments following the American discovery of Soviet missile sites in Cuba). Shaw was a 21-year-old corporal in the Marines stationed in Hawaii at the time, and Walter Cronkite, his other hero, was passing through. With the tenacity of youthor perhaps that of a budding reporterthe corporal rang Cronkites room a total of 34 times. He was the most persistent guy Ive ever met in my life, Cronkite said in the Washington Post, I was going to give him five begrudging minutes and ended up talking to him for a half hour. He was just determined to be a journalist. The two have been friends ever since.

In 1963, with four years of the marines behind him, a new sense of maturity, and college money, Shaw entered the University of Illinois, choosing history as his major. His career in journalism officially began just a year later when he joined Chicagos WNUS, one of the nations first all-news radio stations. He worked there as a reporter and anchor until 1966 when Westinghouse Broadcasting Companys Group W offered him a job. He quit school, relocated to Washington, D.C., and, at 28, became a White House correspondent. In the five years with Westinghouse Shaws assignments included local and national urban affairs, and the struggles of Hispanics and Native Americans.

In 1971, Walter Cronkite helped Shaw land a job with CBS. Shaw started as a reporter for the CBS News Washington bureau and in three years became a correspondent. It was during this period that his career got a boost: he conducted an exclusive interview with then attorney general John Mitchell. It was the height of the Watergate crisis and Mitchell, who was to be convicted for his role in the affair, was a major figure in the scandal. White House correspondent Shaw had pulled off a journalistic coup.

Hungry for International Experience

After nearly ten years of reporting from Capitol Hill, Shaw was restless. He was hungry for international experience. When ABC offered him the job of Miami bureau chief and Latin American correspondent, an impressive but less visible position, he grabbed it. I pushed myself out the door, Shaw told the New York Times. The three years he spent with ABC proved especially eventful.

As Latin American correspondent from 1977 to 1979, Shaw covered the 1979 resignation and exile of Nicaraguas enigmatic president, General Anastasio Somoza, and the months of simmering civil war that enveloped it. The year before, Shaw flew to South America when assigned to investigate rumors of a bizarre massacre in the remote jungles of Guyana. The scene was Jonestown, a religious commune named after its leader, Reverend Jim Jones, and populated by transplanted American families. Shaw was one of the first reporters to file from location, and he scooped the other networks by providing the only aerial photos of the tragedy. The picture that confronted them was sickening: the decomposing bodies of 911 men, women, and children who had died by drinking poisoned punch. The reverend had led the cultists to this mass suicide-execution as a reaction to a U.S. representatives investigation of alleged mistreatment of the American citizens. Shaw commented in Parade Magazine, You know how cameramen will shoot 15 minutes of tape just to be sure they get one shot right? Well, at Jonestown, a cameraman could [only] shoot for about six seconds before turning around and retching. Thats how bad it was.

Back at the bureau Shaw told a colleague that he felt very lucky to have gotten the Jonestown story, adding, as quoted in the Washington Post, You always have luck when you hustle. And, as if to confirm this philosophy, ABC chose Shaw to file special reports during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis at the American embassy in Teheran. That led to Shaws return to Washington as ABCs senior Capitol Hill correspondent.

Taking a Career Gamble

1979 was a tumultuous year for personnel at ABC News. As a result, Shaws colleague, Washington bureau chief George Watson, left to help start CNN, a 24-hour, all-news cable network. Watson urged Shaw to follow him as the new networks principal anchor. I had been negotiating a new contract with ABC, but I was dissatisfied with the terms, so I started talking to [maverick broadcasting entrepreneur and CNN founder] Ted Turner, Shaw told New York magazine. The time period in which I was trying to decide, it seemed like agony to me. Id only been married three years and our children were very small, and I couldnt selfishly take that gamble by myself. His worries were compounded by an economy in recession with double digit inflation. Its no exaggeration, Shaw added, I walked around the dining room for two weeks, talking to myself. My wife, Linda, would wake up around one in the morning and come downstairs. So, finally we just sat down at the dining room table and she said, Okay, you should take the job, because if you dont and CNN takes off, I wont be able to live with you. Network bosses told Shaw it would ruin his career, but he disagreed. I saw it as perhaps the last frontier on television, he told the New York Times. The first all-news TV network seemed like revolutionary stuff to me.

Chicken Noodle Network

For three decades the rule of the Big Three had never been seriously challenged and, while they smugly claimed that no one else could pull together the resources to compete, Turner was telling Business Week, The Turner broadcasting group is going to be the greatest business success story of all time.

The so-called Chicken Noodle Network began broadcasting from its Atlanta headquarters on June 1, 1980. Using new satellite technology for live transmission, CNNs staff of three hundred fresh faces drew on ceaseless energy to get the news out as it was happening, at any hour of the day or night. The cable networks viewership rose and its presence began to be felt. But it wasnt until 1987 that it achieved a contenders rank. That status seemed to become official when Shaws became the fourth chairjoining those of CBS, NBC, and ABCin a nationally televised interview with then U.S. president Ronald Reagan, held in the Oval Office on the eve of the summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. That event served to introduce CNN and Shaw to millions of non-cable viewers. Another nationally televised event only a few months later ingrained Shaws face and style into viewers minds. But not all liked what they saw.

In April of 1988 Shaw moderated the second presidential debate from Los Angeles. In his role, he seemed rough with the debate audience, warning them that he would tell them to keep quiet only once. And, in general, he was his usual serious self. But it was his opening questions to the two candidates that caused a stir. George Bush was asked if he wouldnt be worried about the country under President Dan Quayles leadership in the event Bush died before inauguration. Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis was asked if he would still be against the death penalty if someone raped and murdered his wife Kitty Dukakis. Ive heard the questions called ghoulish and tasteless, Shaw told the Washington Post, I spent more than a day and a half working on those two questions. They were not asked with trivia in mind. Its difficult to accuse Shaw of being trivial. I hope I didnt seem severe, he added, I took the job seriously.

The next couple of years drew Shaw into international news. He covered the 1988 Reagan-Gorbachev Moscow Summit; President Bushs first visit to Eastern Europe, and his participation in the 1989 Economic Summit in Paris; Japanese Emperor Hirohitos funeral; and the 40th-anniversary North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Brussels. In May of 1989, Shaw received his biggest story yet: he provided 30 hours of continuous live coverage, worldwide, on the historic student demonstrations in Beijing, China. He was one of only two American anchors in Tiananmen Square when the Chinese governments tanks rolled in and crushed the pro-democracy movement.

From The Center of Hell

Although Shaw initially expressed doubts about the probability of war between the United States and Iraq, four months later he admitted in Gentlemens Quarterly that this had been a prediction grounded in hope. In January of 1991, he was in Baghdad to interview Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein when history took a turn. On the 16th, just one day after the aborted interview, Shaw found himself strandedalong with CNN colleagues, Peter Arnett and John Hollimanin the enemy capital as the allied bombing attack launched the Gulf War. Shaw was one of the first reporters to announce to the world that the United States and its allies had gone to war, and CNN went on to provide continuous coverage for the conflicts duration. Even after every major newspaper had pulled out, after the Big Threes phonelines were cut, and after CNN lost its picture transmission, the network was able to make live reports from Baghdad via its secure phoneline. While the night sky was screaming with gunfire and air-raid warnings, the CNN trio crawled around the floor of their hotel room and delivered some of the most spellbinding audio reporting since Edward R. Murrows harrowing World War II accounts of the Nazi bombing of London. By the time we stopped broadcasting to get some sleep, Shaw told Parade Magazine, I was so tired I was making no sense whatsoever. I was no sooner in bed and asleep when the bombing started again, and I stumbled down the hall in my pajamas to the suite where we broadcast and went back to work. The experience unnerved the characteristically composed anchor. He announced: Clearly Ive never been there, but it feels like we are in the center of hell.

CNNs coverage was being cited by top Pentagon officials at press conferences while being eagerly viewed by Iraqi officials. CBS and NBC humbled themselves by asking the cable networks reporters for interviews. Television coverage of the war belonged to CNN because it provided an uninterrupted flow of raw information. This process empowered the public: the viewer became the news editor. Weve been training for this story 24 hours a day for ten years, CNNs executive vice-president Ed Turner (no relation to Ted Turner) told the Chicago Tribune. Live wartime coverage from the center of enemy camp is unprecedented.

A Star Is Born

Bernie Shaw came back to the U.S. a star. But the kudos and popular attention seemed unprofessional and embarrassing to him. He was happy to be reunited with his family and had more private thoughts on his mind. I came back from Baghdad a changed man, he told the Los Angeles Times. I looked death in the eyes. No human gets many chances to do that twice.

The journey from the South Side of Chicago to Baghdad was a long one, but Shaw never wavered, and that could have been easy in the beginning. The 1950s had no black Murrows as role models for a poor, young black boy with dreams of broadcast journalism. But I didnt see Ed Murrow as white, Shaw told the New York Times, I saw him as a journalist. Shaw knew that it was certainly possible that hed encounter racism along the way, but he says he has never been a knowing victim of it in his career.

Widely regarded as the nations most powerful black television journalist, Shaw has maintained his professional philosophy: a reporter must never get in the way of a story. As he told Essence magazine, I never wanted to sit in this chair until I felt in my mind and heart that I had the necessary experience to anchor.

Sources

Business Week, June 1980.

Chicago Tribune, January 20, 1991.

Essence, November 1990.

Gentlemens Quarterly, May 1991.

Los Angeles Times, April 11, 1991.

New York, February 1991.

New York Times, February 2, 1988; March 20, 1988.

Parade Magazine, June 23, 1991.

Time, February 22, 1988.

Washington Post, June 22, 1991.

Iva Sipal

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Sipal, Iva. "Shaw, Bernard 1940–." Contemporary Black Biography. 1992. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

The British playwright, critic, and pamphleteer George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) produced more than 52 plays and playlets, three volumes of music and drama criticism, and one major volume of socialist commentary.

George Bernard Shaw's theater extended to his personal life. He considered himself a cultural miracle, and a partisan conflict among his readers and playgoers provoked a massive body of literature for and against him and his work. Much recent criticism concludes that he ranks as the greatest English dramatist since William Shakespeare.

Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland, on July 16, 1856. At an early age he was tutored in classics by an uncle, and when he was 10 years old, he entered the Wesleyan Connexional School in Dublin. There his academic performance was largely a failure. Shaw later described his own education: "I cannot learn anything that does not interest me. My memory is not indiscriminate, it rejects and selects; and its selections are not academic." Part of his nonacademic training was handled by his mother, a music teacher and a mezzo-soprano; Shaw studied music and art at the same time. He became a Dublin office boy in 1871 at a monthly salary equivalent to $4.50. Success in business threatened him: "I made good," he wrote, "in spite of myself and found, to my dismay, that Business, instead of expelling me as the worthless imposter I was, was fastening upon me with no intention of letting me go….In March, 1876, I broke loose." Resigning a cashier's position, Shaw joined his mother and two sisters in London, where they conducted a music school. Shaw had started writing, at the age of 16, criticism and reviews for Irish newspapers and magazines; in 4 years only one piece was accepted. Shaw lived in London for the 9 years after 1876 supported by his parents and continued to write criticism. He also entertained in London society as a singer.

Shaw as a Novelist

Between 1876 and 1885 Shaw wrote five novels. Immaturity, the first, remained unpublished, and the other four, after a series of rejections from London publishers, appeared in radical periodicals. To-Day published An Unsocial Socialist in 1884; it was designed as part of a massive projected work that would cover the entire social reform movement in England. Cashel Byron's Profession (1882) also appeared in To-Day; juvenile, nonsensical, at times hilarious, it was produced in 1901 as the drama The Admirable Bashville; or, Constancy Unrewarded. The IrrationalKnot, a portrayal of modern marriage that Shaw asserted anticipated Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, appeared in another radical periodical, Our Corner, as did Love among the Artists (1887-1888).

Political Activities and Writings

At the age of 23 Shaw had joined a socialist discussion group, of which Sydney Webb was a member, and he joined the Fabian Society in 1884. Fabian Essays (1887), edited by Shaw, emphasized the importance of economics and class structure; for him, economics was "the basis of society." In 1882 Shaw's conversion to socialism began when he heard Henry George, the American author of Progress and Poverty, address a London meeting. George's message "changed the whole current of my life." His reading of Karl Marx's Das Kapital in the same year "made a man of me." For 27 years Shaw served on the Fabian Society's executive committee. In his role as an active polemicist he later published Common Sense about the War on Nov. 14, 1914, a criticism of the British government and its policies. The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism (1928) supplied a complete summary of his political position. It remains a major volume of socialist commentary. For 6 years Shaw held office on a municipal level in a London suburb.

Shaw's other careers continued. Between 1888 and 1894 he wrote for newspapers and periodicals as a highly successful music critic. At the end of this period, he began writing on a regular basis for Frank Harris's Saturday Review; as a critic, he introduced Ibsen and the "new" drama to the British public. Shaw's Quintessence of Ibsenism appeared in 1890, The Sanity of Art in 1895, and The Perfect Wagnerite in 1898. All of them indicate the formation of his esthetics. He married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, an Irish heiress and fellow socialist, in 1898. She died in 1943.

The Plays

Shaw wrote drama between 1892 and 1947, when he completed Buoyant Billions at the age of 91. Widowers' Houses, his first play, was produced in 1892 at London's Royalty Theater. He identified this and the other early plays as "unpleasant." Widowers' Houses was about slum land-lordship. Preoccupied by the "new" woman, Shaw wrote The Philanderers in 1893. Also written in the same year but not produced until 1902 because of British censorship, Mrs. Warren's Profession revealed, he wrote, "the economic basis of modern commercial prostitution." Shaw's first stage successes, Arms and the Man and Candida, both of them "pleasant" plays, were produced in 1894. You Never Can Tell, first produced in 1896 and not often revived, is Shaw's most underrated comedy. The Vedrenne-Barker productions at the Royal Court Theater in London of Shaw, Shakespeare, and Euripides between 1904 and 1907 established Shaw's permanent reputation; 11 of his plays received 701 performances.

Shaw began as a dramatist writing against the mechanical habits of domestic comedy and against the Victorian romanticizing of Shakespeare and drama in general. He wrote that "melodramatic stage illusion is not an illusion of real life, but an illusion of the embodiment of our romantic imaginings."

Shaw's miraculous period began with Man and Superman (1901-1903). It was miraculous even for him; in a late play, Too True to Be Good (1932), one of the characters speaks for him: "My gift is divine: it is not limited by my petty personal convictions. Lucidity is one of the most precious of gifts: the gift of the teacher: the gift of explanation. I can explain anything to anybody; and I love doing it."

Major Barbara (1905) is a drama of ideas, largely about poverty and capitalism; like most of Shaw's drama, Major Barbara poses questions and finally contains messages or arguments. Androcles and the Lion (1911) discusses religion. John Bull's Other Island (1904), which is the least known of his major plays, concerns political relations between England and Ireland. Heartbreak House analyzes the domestic effects of World War I; written between 1913 and 1916, it was first produced in 1920. Most of the plays after Arms and the Man carry long prefaces that are often not directly related to the drama itself. Shaw systematically explored such topics as marriage, parenthood, education, and poverty in the prefaces.

Shaw's popular success was coupled with a growing critical success. Heartbreak House, Back to Methuselah (1921; he called it his "metabiological pentateuch"), Androcles and the Lion, and Saint Joan (1923) are considered his best plays. They were all written between the ages of 57 and 67.

Shaw Explaining Shaw

The plays of Shaw express, as did his life, a complex range of impulses, ambitions, and beliefs. Reflecting on his life and his work, he explained at 70: "If I am to be entirely communicative on this subject, I must add that the mere rawness which soon rubs off was complicated by a deeper strangeness which has made me all my life a sojourner on this planet rather than a native of it. Whether it be that I was born mad or a little too sane, my kingdom was not of this world: I was at home only in the realm of my imagination, and at ease only with the mighty dead. Therefore I had to become an actor, and create for myself a fantastic personality fit and apt for dealing with men, and adaptable to the various parts I had to play as an author, journalist, orator, politician, committee man, man of the world, and so forth. In all this I succeeded later on only too well."

Shaw was awarded the 1925 Nobel Prize for literature. At the patriarchal age of 94, he died in his home at Ayot St. Lawrence, England, on Nov. 2, 1950.

Further Reading

The literature on Shaw is extensive. Shaw wrote numerous letters, some of which are in Bernard Shaw: Collected Letters, 1874-1897, edited and with an introduction by Dan H. Laurence (1965), the first of a projected multivolume collection of his correspondence. Not particularly revealing of Shaw's private life is the Autobiography, edited by Stanley Weintraub (2 vols., 1969-1970), an assemblage of Shaw's personal writings on a host of topics over a half century.

The standard biography of Shaw is Archibald Henderson, Bernard Shaw: Playboy and Prophet (1932). William Irvine, The Universe of G.B.S. (1949), is one of many attempts at a definitive critical biography. Stanley Weintraub, Journey to Heartbreak: The Crucible Years of Bernard Shaw, 1914-1918 (1971), is a fascinating biographical study of Shaw during World War I. Two good introductions to Shaw and his work are G. K. Chesterton, George Bernard Shaw (1909), and Eric Bentley, Bernard Shaw (1947; 2d ed., 1967). Recently there has been a critical reassessment of Shaw. The most important works are Richard M. Ohmann, Shaw: The Style and the Man (1962), and Martin Meisel, Shaw and the Nineteenth-century Theater (1963). □

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Shaw, George Bernard

George Bernard Shaw

Born: July 26, 1856
Dublin, Ireland
Died: November 2, 1950
Ayot St. Lawrence, England

Irish playwright and critic

British playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw produced more than fifty plays and three volumes of music and drama criticism. Many critics consider him the greatest English dramatist since William Shakespeare (15641616).

Early years

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland, on July 26, 1856, the son of George Carr Shaw and Lucinda Elizabeth Gurly. His father was the co-owner of a corn mill and had a drinking problem. Shaw was tutored in classics by an uncle, and when he was ten years old, he entered the Wesleyan Connexional School in Dublin. Shaw hated school but loved reading and writing. He also learned a great deal about music and art from his mother, a music teacher and singer.

Shaw took a job as an office boy in 1871 at a monthly salary equal to $4.50. He resigned in 1876 to join his mother and two sisters in London, England, where they ran a music school. At the age of sixteen Shaw had started writing criticism and reviews for Irish newspapers and magazines; in four years only one piece was accepted. Shaw continued to write criticism while supported by his mother; he also entertained the London society as a singer.

Different kinds of writing

Between 1876 and 1885 Shaw wrote five novels. Immaturity, the first, remained unpublished for fifty years, and the other four appeared in various magazines. An Unsocial Socialist (1884) was designed as part of a massive projected history of the entire social reform movement in England. Cashel Byron's Profession (1882) was produced in 1901 as the drama The Admirable Bashville; or, Constancy Unrewarded. The Irrational Knot was a description of modern marriage that was similar to Henrik Ibsen's (18281906) A Doll's House. It appeared in a magazine called Our Corner, as did Love Among the Artists (188788).

In 1879 Shaw had joined a socialist (one who believes in a society in which the means of production are owned by the people) discussion group, and he joined the socialist Fabian Society in 1884. Fabian Essays (1887), edited by Shaw, discussed the importance of economics (the study of the production, distribution, and use of goods and services) and class structure. In 1882 two events completed Shaw's conversion to socialism: he heard a speech by Henry George, the American author of Progress and Poverty, and he read Karl Marx's (18181883) Das Kapital. In 1914 Shaw published Common Sense about the War, a criticism of the British government. The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism, published in 1928, remains a major volume of socialist thought.

Between 1888 and 1894 Shaw wrote for newspapers and magazines as a music critic. At the end of this period, he began writing regularly for the Saturday Review; as a critic, he helped introduce Ibsen to the British public. Shaw's Quintessence of Ibsenism appeared in 1890, The Sanity of Art in 1895, and The Perfect Wagnerite in 1898. He married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow socialist, in 1898. She died in 1943.

Shaw's plays

Widowers' Houses, Shaw's first play, was produced in 1892. He identified this and his other early plays as "unpleasant." Shaw's first stage successes, Arms and the Man and Candida, were produced in 1894. You Never Can Tell, first produced in 1896 and not often performed, is Shaw's most underrated (not highly valued) comedy. The productions at the Royal Court Theater in London of the works of Shaw, Shakespeare, and Euripides (484406 b.c.e.) between 1904 and 1907 increased Shaw's popularity; eleven of his plays received 701 performances.

Major Barbara (1905) is a drama of ideas, largely about poverty and capitalism (a system in which prices, production, and distribution of goods are determined by competition in a free market); like most of Shaw's drama, the play poses questions and finally contains messages or arguments. Androcles and the Lion (1911) discusses religion. Heartbreak House deals with the effects of World War I (191418; a war fought between the German-led Central Powers and the Allies: England, the United States, Italy, and other nations) on England; written between 1913 and 1916, it was first produced in 1920. Shaw's plays explored such topics as marriage, parenthood, and education. Most of his plays after Arms and the Man begin with long essays that are often not directly related to the drama itself.

Shaw's popular success was coupled with growing critical respect. Heartbreak House, Back to Methuselah (1921), Androcles and the Lion, and Saint Joan (1923) are considered his best plays. Shaw was awarded the 1925 Nobel Prize for literature. He continued writing drama until 1947, when he completed Buoyant Billions at the age of ninety-one. He died in his home at Ayot St. Lawrence, England, on November 2, 1950.

For More Information

Gibbs, A. M. A Bernard Shaw Chronology. New York: Palgrave, 2001.

McCabe, Joseph. George Bernard Shaw: A Critical Study. New York: Haskell House Publishers, 1974.

Ohmann, Richard M. Shaw: The Style and the Man. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1962.

Peters, Sally. Bernard Shaw: The Ascent of the Superman. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.

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Shaw, George Bernard

George Bernard Shaw, 1856–1950, Irish playwright and critic. He revolutionized the Victorian stage, then dominated by artificial melodramas, by presenting vigorous dramas of ideas. The lengthy prefaces to Shaw's plays reveal his mastery of English prose. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Early Life and Career

Born in Dublin, Shaw was the son of an unsuccessful merchant; his mother was a singer who eventually left her husband to teach singing in London. Shaw left school at 14 to work in an estate agent's office. In 1876 he went to London and for nine years was largely supported by his parents. He wrote five novels, several of them published in small socialist magazines. Shaw was himself an ardent socialist, a member of the Fabian Society, and a popular public speaker on behalf of socialism.

Work as a journalist led to his becoming a music critic for the Star in 1888 and for the World in 1890; his enthusiasm for Wagner proved infectious to his readers. As drama critic for the Saturday Review after 1895, he won readers to Ibsen; he had already written The Quintessence of Ibsenism (1891). In 1898 Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a wealthy, wellborn Irishwoman. By this time his plays were beginning to be produced.

Plays

Although Shaw's plays focus on ideas and issues, they are vital and absorbing, enlivened by memorable characterizations, a brilliant command of language, and dazzling wit. His early plays were published as Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant (2 vol., 1898). The "unpleasant" plays were Widower's Houses (1892), on slum landlordism; The Philanderer (written 1893, produced 1905); and Mrs. Warren's Profession (written 1893, produced 1902), a jibe at the Victorian attitude toward prostitution. The "pleasant" plays were Arms and the Man (1894), satirizing romantic attitudes toward love and war; Candida (1893); and You Never Can Tell (written 1895).

In 1897 The Devil's Disciple, a play on the American Revolution, was produced with great success in New York City. It was published in the volume Three Plays for Puritans (1901) along with Caesar and Cleopatra (1899), notable for its realistic, humorous portraits of historical figures, and Captain Brassbound's Conversion (1900).

During the early 20th cent. Shaw wrote his greatest and most popular plays: Man and Superman (1903), in which an idealistic, cerebral man succumbs to marriage (the play contains an explicit articulation of a major Shavian theme—that man is the spiritual creator, whereas woman is the biological "life force" that must always triumph over him); Major Barbara (1905), which postulates that poverty is the cause of all evil; Androcles and the Lion (1912; a short play), a charming satire of Christianity; and Pygmalion (1913), which satirizes the English class system through the story of a cockney girl's transformation into a lady at the hands of a speech professor. The latter has proved to be Shaw's most successful work—as a play, as a motion picture, and as the basis for the musical and film My Fair Lady (1956; 1964).

Of Shaw's later plays, Saint Joan (1923) is the most memorable; it argues that Joan of Arc, a harbinger of Protestantism and nationalism, had to be killed because the world was not yet ready for her. In 1920 Shaw, much criticized for his antiwar stance, wrote Heartbreak House, a play that exposed the spiritual bankruptcy of the generation responsible for World War I.

Among Shaw's other plays are John Bull's Other Island (1904), The Doctor's Dilemma (1906), Fanny's First Play (1911), Back to Methuselah (1922), The Apple Cart (1928), Too True to Be Good (1932), The Millionairess (1936), In Good King Charles's Golden Days (1939), and Buoyant Billions (1949). Perhaps his most popular nonfiction work is The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928).

Bibliography

See his collected plays with their prefaces, ed. by D. H. Laurence (7 vol., 1970–75); his letters, particularly those to Ellen Terry (1931), Mrs. Patrick Campbell (1952), Granville-Barker (1957), and Molly Tompkins (1960); his collected letters, ed. by D. H. Laurence (4 vol., 1965–88); his complete musical criticism, ed. by D. H. Laurence (3 vol., 1981); and his autobiography, reconstructed by S. Weintraub (2 vol., 1969–70).

See also biographies by A. Henderson (3 vol., 1911–56), F. Harris (1931), H. Pearson (1942 and 1950), and M. Holroyd (4 vol. 1988–93, abr. ed. 1998); studies by E. R. Bentley (2d ed. 1967), L. Crompton (1969), M. M. Morgan (1972), M. Valency (1973), E. Bentley (1985), H. Bloom (1987), and S. Weintraub (1996); bibliography by D. H. Laurence (2 vol., 1983).

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SHAW, George Bernard

SHAW, George Bernard [1856–1950]. Irish dramatist and critic. Born in DUBLIN. Educated at Wesley Connexional School. He moved to London in 1876, where he wrote five novels that had little success, was a music, art, and drama critic, and an early member of the Fabian Society. He found the contemporary English theatre trivial and remote from serious issues, and admired the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen's treatment of social problems; his first play, Widowers' Houses (1893), was an indictment of the profits made by slum landlords. Shaw began a long career as a playwright, controversial about specific issues and challenging the basic assumptions of his contemporaries, which sometimes brought conflict with theatrical censorship. Although polemical, his plays established him as the leading dramatist of his time by their humour, lively dialogue, and strong characterization. Shaw believed that, in order to survive, the human race must become more rational and better organized. He developed a philosophy of Creative Evolution, requiring cooperation with the Life Force, and against the mechanistic theory of Darwin he urged the power of human choice. His ideas on this subject appear in Man and Superman (1903), which emphasizes his belief in the creative strength of women, and Back to Methuselah (1921). Other plays are Caesar and Cleopatra (1898, the film 1945), The Devil's Disciple (1905), Major Barbara (1905, the film 1941), Pygmalion (1913, the film 1938), Heartbreak House (1919), Saint Joan (1923, the film 1956), and The Apple Cart (1929).

Shaw and language

In Pygmalion, the phonetician Henry Higgins teaches a COCKNEY girl to speak with an upper-class accent and adopt some social graces, then introduces her to smart society. Despite dramatic exaggeration, the play makes the point that in the stratified society of England powerful judgements of worth and suitability attached to accent and usage. Shaw's knowledge of phonetics and views on literacy led him to demand a rational system of spelling which would follow the sounds of English and reduce time wasted by traditional orthography. Having campaigned for SPELLING REFORM, he left a bequest for the establishment of a suitable new alphabet reflecting ‘pronunciation to resemble that recorded of His Majesty our late King George V and sometimes described as Northern English’. A system was devised into which the play Androcles and the Lion (1912) was transcribed (published in 1962), but the project has had no further success.

Innovations

In his own work, Shaw adopted three innovations: (1) Some simplified spellings of the North American type, such as cigaret, program, vigor. (2) Omission of the APOSTROPHE in contractions, as in didnt. (3) Spacing between letters for emphasis (m u s t). He complained that dialect speech could not be shown in writing without a phonetic system, but none the less used non-standard spelling for the purpose, as in: ‘Aw knaow. Me an maw few shillins is not good enaff for you. Youre an earl's grandorter, you are. Nathink less than a anderd pahnd for you’ (from Major Barbara) [maw my, grandorter grand-daughter, nathink nothing, anderd pahnd hundred pounds]. Shaw was impatient of insistence on formal grammar and believed that a form of Pidgin English could become a world medium of communication.

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TOM McARTHUR. "SHAW, George Bernard." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. 1998. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Shaw, George Bernard

Shaw, George Bernard (b Dublin, 1856; d Ayot St Lawrence, 1950). Irish playwright, essayist, and music critic. Wrote mus. criticism—arguably the most brilliant in the language—for London periodicals, the Star and the World, from 1888 to 1894 having earlier (from c.1876) ‘ghosted’ for music critic of The Hornet. Adopted pseudonym ‘Corno di Bassetto’, until 1890. Early champion of Wagner's mus. and one of first to put political interpretation on The Ring (in The Perfect Wagnerite, 1898). Criticisms reprinted in London Music 1888–9, Music in London 1890–94 (3 vols.), How to become a Musical Critic (ed. Laurence 1960), and Shaw's Music (ed. Laurence, 1981). Friend of Elgar, whose Severn Suite is ded. to Shaw. His play Arms and the Man was basis of operetta The Chocolate Soldier (Der tapfere Soldat, 1908) by O. Straus, and his Pygmalion became Loewe's musical My Fair Lady (1956). Composers of music for films based on Shaw plays incl. Honegger (Pygmalion, 1938), Walton (Major Barbara, 1941), Auric (Caesar and Cleopatra, 1945), and Richard Rodney Bennett (The Devil's Disciple, 1959).

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MICHAEL KENNEDY and JOYCE BOURNE. "Shaw, George Bernard." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. 1996. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

MICHAEL KENNEDY and JOYCE BOURNE. "Shaw, George Bernard." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. 1996. Encyclopedia.com. (September 30, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O76-ShawGeorgeBernard.html

MICHAEL KENNEDY and JOYCE BOURNE. "Shaw, George Bernard." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. 1996. Retrieved September 30, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O76-ShawGeorgeBernard.html

Shaw, George Bernard

Shaw, George Bernard (1856–1950). Dramatist. Ambitious to write, Shaw left Dublin and his childhood's genteel poverty to join his mother and sisters in London (1876), where he spent hours voraciously in the British Museum's reading room and embraced socialism. His novels rejected, he eventually found steady work as literary, music (‘Corno di Bassetto’), and theatre critic. Now orator, polemicist, and force behind the Fabian Society, he began to write his own plays, influenced by Ibsen and trying to move the English stage away from affectations to a new gravitas: Widowers' Houses (1892), considering slum landlordism, and Mrs Warren's Profession, on organized prostitution, were radical, unromantic, and offensive to many. Prolific, passionate, and witty, he is now regarded as the most significant playwright of the 20th-cent. English-speaking world (Nobel prize for literature, 1925); St Joan (1924) is considered a masterpiece, but Pygmalion (1916) remains the most popular. Shaw's anti-war speeches (1914) drew much criticism, but he continued political writing into old age, outliving his time.

A. S. Hargreaves

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JOHN CANNON. "Shaw, George Bernard." The Oxford Companion to British History. 2002. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Shaw, George Bernard

Shaw, George Bernard (1856–1950) Irish dramatist, critic, and member of the Fabian Society. Shaw transformed Victorian theatre, rejecting melodrama in favour of socially conscious drama. Although many of his plays were comedies, they expressed his often radical political and philosophical ideas. His first play was Widower's Houses (1892). Mrs Warren's Profession (1893) was considered immoral and banned from performance. Arms and the Man (1894) was Shaw's first publicly performed play. Other early plays include Candida (1897). Plays such as Man and Superman (1905) and Major Barbara (1905) were first performed at the Royal Court, London. Pygmalion (1913) was turned later into the musical My Fair Lady (1956). Other major plays include Heartbreak House (1920), Back to Methuselah (1922), and Saint Joan (1923). The prefaces to his plays were published separately. In 1925, Shaw received the Nobel Prize in literature.

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"Shaw, George Bernard." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Shaw, Bernard 1940–

Bernard Shaw 1940

Television news anchor and reporter

At a Glance

Met Journalistic Idol

Hungry for International Experience

Chicken Noodle Network

From The Center of Hell

A Star Is Born

Sources

Television news anchor Bernard Shaws dispassionate manner, steady gaze, rich baritone voice, and crisply precise delivery virtually blend into the fabric of the news. In his twenty years as Cable News Networks (CNN) principal Washington anchor, he has taken a serious approach to journalism and has been widely regarded for his belief that the messenger should not get in the way of the message. Before joining CNN, Shaw worked for two of the three national television networks, CBS and ABC. In a career spanning three decades, he has covered some of modern historys most dramatic events: Watergate, the 1978 Jonestown mass suicide, the Nicaraguan Revolution, Chinas Tiananmen Square student massacre, and American involvement in the Persian Gulf War. Widely regarded as the nations most powerful black television journalist, Shaw, retired from CNN in 2001 in order to pursue his interest in writing.

Shaw grew up during the years of World War II, the emergence of television, and the days that begat the baby boom. His father was a house painter, his mother cleaned other peoples homes, and they lived on the South Side of Chicago. But far from being isolated in the wrong part of town and at the wrong end of the economic spectrum, the family brought the world into their home. In those days, Shaw told Parade Magazine, Chicago had four papers and we got all four every day. Even in his teens, Shaw had an obsessive interest in the news. My ritual on Sunday morning was to walk to a place called the Green Door bookstore near the University of Chicago, which was the closest place I could find the Sunday New York Times, Shaw told New York magazine. Fourteen years old, paper cradled in his arms, the boy would plant himself in a coffee shop and read the paper all the way through.

But Shaw was not merely a spectator. He made announcements on:he school public address system, participated in radio amateur hours, and, while some teenagers of the 1950s may have been totally absorbed in the birth of rock n roll, Shaw found time to dial up newspaper and broctdcast reporters and pepper them with questions about story preparation and deadline pressures. Even in his youth, Shaws tastes in television programming ran toward the news and information genre: he used to watch the television news program Meet the Press religiously, and his hero was legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow. At 16, he personally witnessed his second Democratic conventionhe had

At a Glance

Born May 22, 1940, in Chicago, IL; son of Edgar (a railroad man and house painter) and Camilia (a housekeeper) Shaw; married Linda Allston, 1973; children: Amar Edgar, Anil Louise. Education: University of Illinois, 1963-66. Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1959-63.

Career: Reporter, correspondent, and news anchor. WYNR/WNUS all-news radio, Chicago, IL, reporter and anchor, 1964-66; Westinghouse Broadcasting Companys Group W, Chicago, reporter, 1966-68, White House correspondent, 1968-71; Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS-TV), reporter for Washington bureau, 1971-74, correspondent, 1974-77; American Broadcasting Companies (ABC-TV), Miami bureau chief and Latin American correspondent, 1977-79, senior Capitol Hill correspondent; Cable News Network (CNN), Washington D.C., news anchor, 1980-2001.

Member: Society of Professional Journalists (fellow); National Press Club; Sigma Delta Chi.

Awards: international Platform Association, Lowell Thomas Electronic Journalist Award, 1988; National Academy of Cable Programming, Award for Cable Excellence, 1988; Emmy Award, 1989; 32nd annual International Film and TV Festival of New York, gold medal, 1989; National Association of Black Journalists, annual award, 1989; George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award, 1990; ACE Award, 1990; Bernard Shaw Endowment Fund created by University of Illinois, 1991; Eduard Rhein Foundation, Cultural-H/Journalistic Award, 1991.

Addresses: Office CNN 820 1st St. NE, Washington D.C. 20002-4243 (202)898-7900.

managed to engineer his way into both the 1952 and 1956 conventions. Shaw told Time: When I looked up at the anchor booths, I knew I was looking at the altar.

Met Journalistic Idol

On the road to the altar, Shaw wangled another opportunity to speak to a journalist about his craft. It was 1961, the beginning of an era of political tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union. Shaw was a 21-year-old corporal in the Marines stationed in Hawaii at the time, and Walter Cronkite, his other hero, was passing through. With the tenacity of youthor perhaps that of a budding reporterthe corporal rang Cronkites room a total of 34 times. He was the most persistent guy Ive ever met in my life, Cronkite said in the Washington Post, I was going to give him five begrudging minutes and ended up talking to him for a half hour. He was just determined to be a journalist. The two have been friends ever since.

In 1963, with four years of the marines behind him, and a new sense of maturity, Shaw entered the University of Illinois, choosing history as his major. His career in journalism officially began just a year later when he joined Chicagos WNUS, one of the nations first all-news radio stations. He worked there as a reporter and anchor until 1966 when Westinghouse Broadcasting Companys Group W offered him a job. He quit school, relocated to Washington, D.C, and, at 28, became a White House correspondent. In the five years with Westinghouse Shaws assignments included local and national urban affairs, and the struggles of Hispanics and Native Americans.

In 1971, Walter Cronkite helped Shaw land a job with CBS. Shaw started as a reporter for the CBS News Washington bureau and in three years became a correspondent. It was during this period that his career got a boost: he conducted an exclusive interview with then-attorney general John Mitchell. It was the height of the Watergate crisis and Mitchell, who was to be convicted for his role in the affair, was a major figure in the scandal. White House correspondent Shaw had pulled off a journalistic coup.

Hungry for International Experience

After nearly ten years of reporting from Capitol Hill, Shaw was restless. He was hungry for international experience. When ABC offered him the job of Miami bureau chief and Latin American correspondent, an impressive but less visible position, he grabbed it. I pushed myself out the door, Shaw told the New York Times.The three years he spent with ABC proved especially eventful.

Back at the bureau Shaw told a colleague that he felt very lucky to have gotten the Jonestown story, adding, as quoted in the Washington Post, You always have luck when you hustle. And, as if to confirm this philosophy, ABC chose Shaw to file special reports during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis at the American embassy in Teheran. That led to Shaws return to Washington as ABCs senior Capitol Hill correspondent.

1979 was a tumultuous year for personnel at ABC News. As a result, Shaws colleague, Washington bureau chief George Watson, left to help start CNN, a 24-hour, all-news cable network. Watson urged Shaw to follow him as the new networks principal anchor. I had been negotiating a new contract with ABC, but I was dissatisfied with the terms, so I started talking to [maverick broadcasting entrepreneur and CNN founder] Ted Turner, Shaw told New York magazine. The time period in which I was trying to decide, it seemed like agony to me. Id only been married three years and our children were very small, and I couldnt selfishly take that gamble by myself. His worries were compounded by an economy in recession with double digit inflation. Its no exaggeration, Shaw added, I walked around the dining room for two weeks, talking to myself. My wife, Linda, would wake up around one in the morning and come downstairs. So, finally we just sat down at the dining room table and she said, Okay, you should take the job, because if you dont and CNN takes off, I wont be able to live with you. Network bosses told Shaw it would ruin his career, but he disagreed. I saw it as perhaps the last frontier on television, he told the New York Times. The first all-news TV network seemed like revolutionary stuff to me.

Chicken Noodle Network

For three decades the rule of the Big Three had never been seriously challenged and, while they smugly claimed that no one else could pull together the resources to compete, Turner was telling Business Week, The Turner broadcasting group is going to be the greatest business success story of all time.

The so-called Chicken Noodle Network began broadcasting from its Atlanta headquarters on June 1, 1980. Using new satellite technology for live transmission, CNNs staff of three hundred fresh faces drew on ceaseless energy to get the news out as it was happening, at any hour of the day or night. The cable networks viewership rose and its presence began to be felt. But it wasnt until 1987 that it achieved a contenders rank. That status seemed to become official when Shaws became the fourth chairjoining those of CBS, NBC, and ABCin a nationally televised interview with then U.S. president Ronald Reagan, held in the Oval Office on the eve of the summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. That event served to introduce CNN and Shaw to millions of non-cable viewers. Another nationally televised event only a few months later ingrained Shaws face and style into viewers minds. But not all liked what they saw.

In April of 1988 Shaw moderated the second presidential debate from Los Angeles. In his role, he seemed rough with the debate audience, warning them that he would tell them to keep quiet only once. And, in general, he was his usual serious self. But it was his opening questions to the two candidates that caused a stir. George Bush was asked if he would be worried about the country under President Dan Quayles leadership in the event Bush died before inauguration. Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis was asked if he would still be against the death penalty if someone raped and murdered his wife Kitty Dukakis. Ive heard the questions called ghoulish and tasteless, Shaw told the Washington Post, I spent more than a day and a half working on those two questions. They were not asked with trivia in mind. Its difficult to accuse Shaw of being trivial. I hope I didnt seem severe, he added, 1 took the job seriously.

The next couple of years drew Shaw into international news. He covered the 1988 Reagan-Gorbachev Moscow Summit; Presicent Bushs first visit to Eastern Europe, and his participation in the 1989 Economic Summit in Paris; Japanese Emperor Hirohitos funeral; and the 40th-anniversary North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Brussels. In May of 1989, Shaw received his biggest story yet: he provided 30 hours of continuous live coverage, worldwide, on the historic student demonstrations in Beijing, China. He was one of only two American anchors in Tiananmen Square when the Chinese governments tanks rolled in and crushed the pro-democracy movement.

From The Center of Hell

Although Shaw initially expressed doubts about the probability of war between the United States and Iraq, four months later he admitted in Gentlemens Quarterly that this had been a prediction grounded in hope. In January of 1991, he was in Baghdad to interview Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein when history took a turn. On the 16th, just one day after the aborted interview, Shaw found himself strandedalong with CNN colleagues, Peter Arnett and John Hollimanin the enemy capital as the allied bombing attack launched the Gulf War. Shaw was one of the first reporters to announce to the world that the United States and its allies had gone to war, and CNN went on to provide continuous coverage for the conflicts duration. Even after even; major newspaper had pulled out, after the Big Threes phone lines were cut, and after CNN lost its picture transmission, the network was able to make live reports rrorn Baghdad via its secure phone line.

While the night sky was screaming with gunfire and air-raid warnings, the CNN trio crawled around the floor of their hotel room and delivered some of the most spellbinding audio reporting since Edward R. Murrows harrowing World War II accounts of the Nazi bombing of London. By the time we stopped broadcasting to get some sleep, Shaw toldParade Magazine, I was so tired I was making no sense whatsoever. I was no sooner in bed and asleep when the bombing started again, and 1 stumbled down the hall in my pajamas to the suite where we broadcast and went back to work. The experience unnerved the characteristi cally composed anchor. He announced: Clearly Ive never been there, but it feels like we are in the center of hell.

CNNs coverage was being cited by top Pentagon officials at press conferences while being eagerly viewed by Iraqi officials. CBS and NBC humbled themselves by asking the cable networks reporters for interviews. Television coverage of the war belonged to CNN because it provided an uninterrupted flow of raw information. This process empowered the public: the viewer became the news editor. Weve been training for this story 24 hours a day for ten years, CNNs executive vice-president Ed Turner (no relation to Ted Turner) told the Chicago Tribune.Live wartime coverage from the center of enemy camp is unprecedented.

A Star Is Born

Bernie Shaw came back to the U.S. a star. But the kudos and popular attention seemed unprofessional and embarrassing to him. He was happy to be reunited with his family and had more private thoughts on his mind. I came back from Baghdad a changed man, he told theLos Angeles Times. I looked death in the eyes. No human gets many chances to do that twice.

The journey from the South Side of Chicago to Baghdad was a long one, but Shaw never wavered, and that could have been easy in the beginning. The 1950s had no black Murrows as role models for a poor, young black boy with dreams of broadcast journalism. But I didnt see Ed Murrow as white, Shaw told the New York Times, I saw him as a journalist. Shaw knew that it was certainly possible that hed encounter racism along the way, but he has said that he has never been a knowing victim of it in his career.

Although he has never experienced racism in his career, Shaw raised the issue of racial profiling at the vice-presidential debate. As moderator of the second presidential debate in 1988, Shaw had asked the candidates to imagine a situation and then explain how they would respond. Using this same tactic, Shaw asked vice-presidential hopefuls Joseph Lieberman and Dick Cheney to imagine themselves as victims of racial profiling. Whereas in 1988, Shaw was criticized for asking Michael Dukakis if he would reverse his position on the death penalty if his own wife was a victim of a brutal crime, in 2000 Shaw managed to bring an issue that, only a few years before very few had even heard of, into the national consciousness.

As CNNs top anchor, Shaw stood at the helm of televisions news phenomenon: a 24-hour, all-news cable network. In his twenty years at CNN, he saw the network evolve from a long-shot endeavor known as the Chicken Noodle Network to become the top-ranked televison news network. But, in November of 2000, Shaw announced to viewers that he was resigning from CNN, saying that, while he hoped to return for the occasional special assignment, he wanted to spend more time with his family. He also planned to focus much of his time on writing fiction, essays, and a primer on journalism. He decided his first writing project, however, would be his autobiography, for, as he told Broadcasting & Cable, If I dont do it now, Ill never get it done.

In many ways, Shaws departure heralded the end of an era at CNN. A rogue network no longer, talks for an AOL-Time Warner merger began. With a new management team on board, the network also launched plans to experiment with new types of programming. With his final newscast on February 28, 2001, Shaw left the anchor seat he had worked so hard to earn. He told Jet, Harder than entering this business is leaving it.

Sources

Periodicals

Business Week, June 1980.

Business Wire, February 12, 2001.

Chicago Tribune, January 20, 1991.

Essence, November 1990.

Gentlemens Quarterly, May 1991.

Jet, November 27, 2000.

Los Angeles Times, April 11, 1991.

National Review, February 19, 2001.

New York, February 1991.

New York Times, February 2, 1988; March 20, 1988.

Parade Magazine, June 23, 1991.

Si.Louis Dispatch, March 2, 2001.

Time, February 22, 1988.

Variety, November 13, 2000.

Washington Post, June 22, 1991.

Iva Sipal and Jennifer M. York

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Sipal, Iva; York, Jennifer. "Shaw, Bernard 1940–." Contemporary Black Biography. 2001. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Sipal, Iva; York, Jennifer. "Shaw, Bernard 1940–." Contemporary Black Biography. 2001. Encyclopedia.com. (September 30, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2873000061.html

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