Blitzer, Wolf

views updated


BLITZER, WOLF (1948– ), U.S. journalist. Blitzer earned a bachelor's degree in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master's in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. While at suny, he spent a year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He started in the news business as a reporter for *Reuters in Tel Aviv in 1972. Three years later he became the Washington correspondent of the Jerusalem Post and served for 15 years until 1990. He joined the all-news television network cnn that year as Pentagon correspondent and appeared frequently on screen during the Persian Gulf War. With his work for the Post and his coverage of the prosecution of Jonathan *Pollard, an American Jew charged with spying for Israel, Blitzer became an expert on the weapons systems of the Pentagon and on the Iraqi military. He was among a team of cnn reporters who won a Golden Cable Ace award for coverage of the war. In 1992 he became cnn's senior White House correspondent, covering the administration of President Bill Clinton, and served in that capacity until 1999. He became host of Wolf Blitzer Reports, a nightly newscast, in December 2000 and took over cnn's Night Edition, a Sunday talk show which in 2004 was seen in more than 200 countries. In 1996 Blitzer won an Emmy award for his coverage of the bombing in Oklahoma City. In 1999 he won the Lowell Thomas Broadcast Journalism Award for contributions to broadcast journalism.

Over the years Blitzer covered many key events on the international political scene. In 1973 he was on hand when Willy *Brandt traveled to Israel, marking the first visit of a German chancellor. He also covered the first Israeli-Egyptian peace conference in Egypt in 1977 and in 1979 he traveled with President Jimmy Carter for the final round of negotiations that resulted in the signing of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty.

In addition to receiving several honorary degrees, Blitzer is the author of two books, Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter's Notebook (1985) and Territory of Lies (1989), which dealt with the Pollard affair. The son of Holocaust survivors, Blitzer has noted an irony in his personal family history. His grandparents were killed on Yom Kippur and two of his parents' grandchildren, Blitzer's nephew and daughter, were born on Yom Kippur.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]