Wolf Blitzer is anchor of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, which airs weekdays at 6pmET and provides viewers with in-depth reports about the political, international and breaking news stories of the day. Blitzer has been with CNN for 33 years.
One-on-one interviews with prominent figures who are shaping news on the world stage has been a hallmark of Blitzer and The Situation Room throughout the entire 18 year on-air run – one of the longest running CNN shows. Blitzer recently spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the midst of ongoing protests over a law that passed limiting the ability of Israel’s highest court to check the government’s power. He also sat down exclusively with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Vilnius, Lithuania during the 2023 NATO Summit and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as Americans continued to feel the effects of post-pandemic inflation. This is only a sampling of the recent interviews from Blitzer that have shaped news cycles and changed conversations both domestically and internationally. Blitzer’s lifelong commitment to reporting the news, no matter the day or time, took him live from London this summer as the armed insurrection in Russia launched by Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner paramilitary group, played out in front of the world.
During the 2020 election cycle, Blitzer moderated several Democratic presidential town halls, as well as CNN’s January debate in Iowa. He also anchored special coverage of Election Night in America surrounding the 2020 election, which lasted several days until CNN was the first to project Joe Biden as the winner with Blitzer as the one to announce the projection. He has also played a critical role in the network’s expanded coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, often anchoring seven days a week during the peak of the pandemic in 2020.
In 2016, Blitzer served as moderator for the CNN Republican Presidential Primary Debates in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Houston, Texas and the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate in Brooklyn, New York. Blitzer was pivotal to CNN’s election coverage throughout America’s Choice 2012, serving as lead anchor on key primary nights, caucus nights and the Emmy award-winning election night. He moderated three of CNN’s Republican presidential debates including the first-of-its-kind tea party debate. During the 2008 presidential election, Blitzer spearheaded CNN’s Peabody Award-winning coverage of the presidential primary debates and campaigns. He also led CNN’s Emmy-winning “America Votes 2006” coverage and “America Votes 2004.” Furthermore, he anchored the network’s coverage during the inaugurations of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
In addition to politics, Blitzer is also known for his in-depth reporting on international news. In January 2013, Blitzer traveled to Cairo, Egypt to sit down at the presidential palace with President Mohamed Morsy. In December 2010, he was granted rare access to travel to North Korea with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. While in country as the only network journalist, he took viewers inside the communist, totalitarian regime with reports from the rarely seen streets of Pyongyang and Kim II-sung University.
Known for his Middle East expertise, Blitzer reported from Israel in the midst of the war between that country and Hezbollah during the summer of 2006 and he also returned to the region with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper in 2012. In 2005, Blitzer was the only American news anchor to cover the Dubai Ports World story on the ground in the United Arab Emirates. He also traveled to the Middle East in 2005 to report on the second anniversary of the war in Iraq. In 2003, Blitzer reported on the Iraq war from the Persian Gulf region.
As the child of Holocaust survivors, Blitzer has worked tirelessly to promote Holocaust education and combat antisemitism throughout his career. In 2023, Blitzer traveled to Poland to participate in the 35th International March of the Living, and to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Blitzer reported extensively throughout the emotional trip, providing his reflections on the emotional journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau as he remembered his family members killed there during the Holocaust. In 2022, Blitzer produced “Never Again: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, A Tour with Wolf Blitzer” for CNN which was awarded the prestigious Grand Prize Award from Germany’s RIAS Berlin Commission. The impactful and deeply personal report took viewers beyond the walls of the museum, interviewing a leading historian, a Holocaust survivor, and a young museum volunteer to look at how the Holocaust is remembered, and forgotten, in today’s America. Viewers followed Blitzer as he toured the museum and reflected on the history of the Holocaust, his family’s place in that history, and his role as the child of survivors to carry on their legacy of Holocaust education.
Blitzer began his career in 1972 with the Reuters News Agency in Tel Aviv. Shortly thereafter, he became a Washington, D.C., correspondent for The Jerusalem Post and reported from the nation’s capital for more than 15 years. Blitzer has been with CNN for over 30 years having joined in 1990 as the network’s military-affairs correspondent at the Pentagon. He then served as CNN’s senior White House correspondent covering President Bill Clinton from November 1992 election until 1999, when he became the anchor of CNN’s Sunday public affairs program Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer and remained for more than a decade.
Over the decades, Blitzer has reported on a wide range of major breaking stories around the world that have shaped the international political landscape. In 1982, Blitzer was in Beirut during the withdrawal of PLO and Syrian forces. Blitzer covered the first Israeli-Egyptian peace conference in Egypt in 1977, and, in 1979, he traveled with then-President Jimmy Carter on visits to Egypt and Israel for the final round of negotiations that resulted in the signing of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. He was among the first Western reporters invited into KGB headquarters for a rare inside look into the Soviet intelligence apparatus; he returned to Moscow in December 1991 to cover the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition from Mikhail Gorbachev to Boris Yeltsin.
Throughout his career, Blitzer has interviewed some of history’s most notable figures, including U.S. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Blitzer has also interviewed many foreign leaders, the Dalai Lama, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former South African President Nelson Mandela, among them.
Among the numerous honors he has received for his reporting, Blitzer was the recipient of the American News Women’s Club Excellence in Journalism Award in 2019. In March 2014, he was awarded the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism by the National Press Foundation. In 2013, he was recognized as the eighth recipient of the Urbino Press Award from the Italian Embassy for his excellence in journalism. In 2011, Blitzer received the distinguished Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award from The Radio & Television Digital News Foundation, and The Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s Jefferson-Lincoln Award.
Blitzer was a part of the CNN team to earn a 2012 Emmy award for the network’s coverage of the revolution in Egypt, leading up to and including the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. In addition, he was also vital to the network’s efforts to earn the 2006 Emmy-award for live coverage on Election Day. He is also the recipient of the 2004 Journalist Pillar of Justice Award from the Respect for Law Alliance and the 2003 Daniel Pearl Award from the Chicago Press Veterans Association. He was also among the teams awarded a George Foster Peabody award for Hurricane Katrina coverage; an Alfred I. DuPont Award for coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia; and an Edward R. Murrow Award for CNN’s coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Furthermore, Blitzer is the recipient of an Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his 1996 coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and a Golden CableACE from the National Academy of Cable Programming for his and CNN’s coverage of the Persian Gulf War.
Blitzer has authored two books, Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter’s Notebook (Oxford University Press, 1985) and Territory of Lies (Harper and Row, 1989)-cited by The New York Times Book Review as one of the most notable books of 1989.
Blitzer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master of arts degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. In addition, Blitzer has numerous honorary degrees from educational institutions across the country, including The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; State University of New York at Buffalo; The Catholic University in Washington, D.C; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA; The University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH; Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA; St. Bonaventure University in New York; Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA; Utah Valley University in Orem, UT; Canisius College in Buffalo, NY; Western New England University in Springfield, MA; University of Hartford in West Hartford, MA; Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY; Gannon University in Erie, PA and Niagara University in New York.
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