NBC News
updated 10/19/2011 2:02:08 PM ET 2011-10-19T18:02:08

Ted Koppel, the legendary and highly respected broadcast journalist, joined “Rock Center with Brian Williams” as a special correspondent in October 2011.

Koppel, whose broadcasting career spans half a century, has been honored with every major professional recognition. He contributes to NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and is best known for his role as anchor and managing editor of ABC News' “Nightline” where his interviews and reporting touched every major news story over 25 years, making him the longest-serving news anchor in network history. He left “Nightline” in November 2005 and was named managing editor of the Discovery Channel, anchoring and producing long-form programming that examined major global events.

He began his broadcasting career as an NBC News Page and then took a job at WMCA Radio, New York. In 1963, Koppel joined ABC Radio News as a correspondent for its daily Flair Reports program, where one of his first assignments was to cover the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He moved to television in 1966 when reporting on the Vietnam War.  During his 42 years at ABC News, Koppel also worked as anchor of “The ABC Saturday Night News,” chief diplomatic correspondent, Vietnam War correspondent and Hong Kong bureau chief. He has also had a major reporting role in every presidential campaign since 1964.

Koppel has won every major broadcasting industry honor, including the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, 41 Emmy Awards, eight George Foster Peabody Awards, ten duPont-Columbia Awards, ten Overseas Press Club Awards, two George Polk Awards and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, the highest honor bestowed for public service by the Society of Professional Journalists. Among his other tributes are the first Gold Baton in the history of the duPont-Columbia Awards for “Nightline's” weeklong series originating from South Africa, the Gabriel Personal Achievement Award from the National Catholic Association of Broadcasters and Communicators and selection as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Republic of France. He has received more than 20 honorary degrees from universities in the United States.

A native of Lancashire, England, Koppel moved to the United States with his parents when he was 13 years old and became a U.S. citizen in 1963. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree in mass communications research and political science from Stanford University.

He is married to Grace Anne Dorney of New York City. They live in Maryland, and have four children and seven grandchildren.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints