Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times correspondent and author of best-selling books, has created and hosted twelve award-winning PBS prime-time specials and mini-series on Washington's power game, Soviet perestroika, the global economy, education, and teen violence. Last October, PBS devoted an entire prime-time evening to his pre-election special on U.S. health care, Critical Condition with Hedrick Smith, recently nominated for an Emmy.
Rediscovering Dave Brubeck, which provides an intimate portrait of the American jazz legend, follows an earlier cultural program, Duke Ellington's Washington that Smith created for Black History Month of 2000. That program won high honors at the New York Film Festival.
Mr. Smith began creating documentary series for PBS in 1989 with an adaptation from his best-selling book, The Power Game: How Washington Works. His second documentary series, Inside Gorbachev's USSR, broadcast on PBS in 1990, built on his experience as Moscow Bureau Chief for The Times in the 1970s, on his best selling book, The Russians, and on his subsequent coverage of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika.
Inside Gorbachev's USSR won the DuPont-Columbia grand prize in 1991 most outstanding public affairs production on U.S. television. The series, Challenge to America (1994), won the Berlin RIAS award as the top international documentary. PBS viewers have seen Hedrick Smith for more than 20 years as a panelist on Washington Week in Review and as a special correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
For 26 years, Mr. Smith was a correspondent for the New York Times in Washington, Moscow, Cairo, Saigon, Paris and the American South. As chief diplomatic correspondent in 1971, he was on the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. In 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe. From 1976-1988, he was New York Times Washington bureau chief and chief correspondent.
His multi-documentary mini-series for PBS include Challenge to America (1994), that examined America on the economic defensive; the election special, The People and the Power Game (1996), showing the struggle among the major power centers in the American system: the President, Congress, the media, and lobbies; Surviving the Bottom Line (1998), which examined how middle class Americans were affected by the global economy and how some communities save jobs and prepare young people for the 21st Century; Seeking Solutions (1999), that broke new ground by showing effective grass roots responses in local communities to teen violence and hate crime; and recent two-hour special, Juggling Work and Family (2001), on tensions that plague almost every U.S. home.
Seeking Solutions won the 1999 Sigma Delta Chi public service award for national television. An earlier documentary, Across the River (1995), about community building in crime-plagued neighborhoods in the nation's capital, won the prestigious Sidney Hillman Award.
Hedrick Smith has published several national best-selling books, including The Russians (1976), The Power Game: How Washington Works (1988), The New Russians (1990) and Rethinking America (1995). He began his newspaper career with The Greenville (S.C.) News. After completing his B.A. at Williams College and doing graduate work at Oxford University, he worked for Universal Press International in Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta, 1959-62, and for the New York Times, 1962-88.