Meet Our Guests

Norah O'Donnell

Norah O Donnell

Norah O'Donnell is featured in:

Season 6, Episode 16: Coming to America

Norah O'Donnell is the anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, anchor of CBS News Election Specials, including primary, debate and election nights, and a 60 Minutes contributing correspondent.

Previously, O'Donnell was co-host of CBS This Morning and a contributor to 60 Minutes. O'Donnell joined CBS This Morning in July 2012. Prior to that, she served as CBS News' chief White House correspondent. She is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience covering the world; she has covered six presidential elections and traveled around the globe to interview some of the world's most important leaders, including five U.S. presidents.

Since joining CBS News, O'Donnell has conducted numerous interviews with newsmakers including President Donald Trump, President Barack Obama, Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has sat down with some of the world's most influential leaders including South Korean President Moon Jae-in for his first interview in office, His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and the Dalai Lama. In March 2018, O'Donnell spent a week reporting in Saudi Arabia where she interviewed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The conversation was his first and only American television interview.

She won The Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage for her exclusive 60 Minutes interview with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, on his decision not to run for president in 2016. O'Donnell also landed exclusive interviews with then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise for 60 Minutes. She covered the historic election of Pope Francis in Vatican City as well as his first Apostolic Voyage to the United States. She has reported from the scenes of Hurricanes Dorian and Harvey; mass shootings in Las Vegas, Annapolis, MD, and El Paso, TX; the country's largest migrant processing facility on the southern border; and the Boston Marathon bombing. She was also part of the CBS News team that received an Alfred I. DuPont Award for the Network's coverage of the 2012 Newtown massacre.

O'Donnell has won two News Emmys for her reporting. In 2018 she and her producer were awarded in the Outstanding Investigative Report in a Newscast category for her report on sexual assaults at the United States Air Force Academy. She also won in 2009 as part of NBC News' 2008 Election Night coverage team.

O'Donnell is a 2019 New York Women in Communications Matrix Award honoree. She earned a Gracie Award and was named Best National News On-Air Talent for the year 2018 and 2016. Her reporting for CBS This Morning on sexual assault at the Air Force Academy won an honorable mention in the Edgar A. Poe Award from the White House Correspondents' Association. She received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast of 2017 and was named Broadcaster of the Year by the New York State Broadcasters Association in 2014.

Prior to joining CBS News, O'Donnell worked for more than a decade at NBC News, where she covered the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House.

O'Donnell has covered a number of breaking news stories throughout her career. She reported from the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Breaking News Coverage for a Dateline NBC story titled "D.C. In Crisis." In the months following the attacks, she traveled extensively with then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, including on his first trip to Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks.

O'Donnell has covered every presidential election since 2000, including NBC News' White House correspondent in 2004 when she covered the campaigns of then-President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry. Prior to covering the White House, O'Donnell was NBC News congressional correspondent, reporting on the lead-up to the Iraq War.

She began her career as a print reporter for Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, for which she covered the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and traveled the country covering congressional elections.

A firm believer in empowering women, O'Donnell sits on the board of directors of the International Women's Media Foundation.

Born into a military family, O'Donnell grew up in San Antonio, Texas; Landstuhl, Germany; Seoul, South Korea and Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy as well as a Master of Arts in liberal studies. She is married to Geoff Tracy, a restaurateur in Washington, D.C. They have three children.

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Guests From Episode 16 of Season 6

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Episode Guide

Finding Your Roots Season Eight

Today’s most compelling personalities discover the surprising stories buried within their own families. Meet 21 fascinating new guests who are game-changers in their fields, with family histories that illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience. Tuesdays at 8/7c.

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WETA | Finding Your Roots
with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

New Episodes: Tuesdays at 8/7c