What’s it like putting together a major television news show? Frantic, hectic, nerve-wracking — and that’s if you’re behind the cameras in the control room and everything is going normally. Put yourself in front of the cameras, though, and in the anchor’s chair, where you’ve been writing and re-writing your copy up to the very last minute, with no room for error. Imagine going right down to the wire, sometimes not completely sure who or where your special guests will be, and never knowing exactly what they will say, but always knowing two things — news will definitely be made, and millions of people will be watching it.
Thanks to our all-time leading multiple Master Class leader George Stephanopoulos, several lucky groups of Next Generation students have sat down over the years with ABC News’ Chief Washington Correspondent — including to watch as he anchored ABC’s Sunday morning news program This Week with George Stephanopoulos live from the Newseum in Washington, DC.
A Master Class with
As Chief Washington correspondent, Mr. Stephanopoulos oversees the network’s coverage of Congress and reports on political and policy stories for all ABC News programs, including World News Tonight, Nightline, Good Morning America, and ABC News’s digital offerings, including ABC News Now and ABCNews.com.
Before being named co-anchor of “Good Morning America” in December 2009, Stephanopoulos held the dual role of ABC News’ chief Washington correspondent and anchor of ABC’s Sunday morning program, This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
In his role as anchor of This Week, Mr. Stephanopoulos regularly made news with his interviews with prominent figures in American political life, the administration and members of Congress, as well as with leaders from around the world – including a historic interview with Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi just as he was on the verge of agreeing to end his country’s nuclear weapons program.
During the 2008 election cycle, Stephanopoulos interviewed every major Republican and Democratic presidential candidate as part of “This Week’s “award winning “On the Trail” series, which has been honored with the Annenberg School of Journalism’s Walter Cronkite Award for Political Journalism two times in a row in 2007 and 2009. During the 2008 presidential race, Stephanopoulos conducted multiple interviews with Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. in studio and on the trail. In August 2007, he moderated separate debates for the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in Des Moines, Ia., the only two Sunday morning debates of the primary cycle. He also moderated a Democratic debate with ABC News’ Charles Gibson in Philadelphia in April 2008.
In addition to reporting and providing analysis at both party conventions and moderating the first Democratic Party Presidential Debate during the 2004 political campaign, Mr. Stephanopoulos has played a pivotal role in ABC News coverage of breaking news stories over the past decade – from ABC’s award-winning coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II, to the explosion of the Columbia space shuttle, and being one of the first reporters on the scene at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001.
Stephanopoulos was named chief Washington correspondent in December 2005 and began anchoring “This Week” in September 2002. Previously he was an ABC News correspondent, reporting on a wide variety of political, domestic and international stories for “This Week,” “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America” and other ABC News programs and special event broadcasts. He joined ABC News in 1997 as a news analyst for “This Week.”
Prior to joining ABC News, Mr. Stephanopoulos served in the White House as the Senior Adviser to the President for policy and strategy during the Clinton administration. He was a key strategist in both Clinton presidential campaigns and was involved in the development of virtually all major policy initiatives during President Clinton’s first term in office. During the 1992 presidential election, Stephanopoulos served on the Clinton/Gore campaign as the Deputy Campaign Manager and Director of Communications, overseeing polling, policy, scheduling, press relations and media operations.
George Stephanopoulos received a degree in political science from Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude and valedictorian of his class. A Truman Scholar as well as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, George made his first forays as a broadcaster for WKCR Sports while a student at Columbia. He also received a master’s degree in Theology from Balliol College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Mr. Stephanopoulos is the author of All Too Human: A Political Education, a New York Times No. 1 best-seller on Clinton’s first term and the 1992 and 1996 Clinton/Gore campaigns. He is also the editor, with Michael Waldman, of My Fellow Americans: The Most Important Speeches of America’s Presidents, from George Washington to George W. Bush.
The son of Greek immigrants, George Stephanopoulos grew up in Cleveland, OH. He points to his experience as an altar boy, and playing a behind-the-scenes role to the person in the spotlight – in this case, his father, a Greek Orthodox priest – as the formative experience that made him well-suited to political spinning.
According to his own account, George was a short, chubby kid, a poor wrestler and very awkward in his high school years. He went on to become (reportedly) the model for both Michael J. Fox’s character Lewis Rothschild in the film The American President and Rob Lowe’s character Sam Seaborn on television’s The West Wing, and, more famously, the handsome subject of an early episode in the first season of the hit TV series Friends, entitled “The One With George Stephanopoulos.” In addition, George played himself in The War Room, an Academy Award-nominated 1993 documentary film about the 1992 U.S. presidential election campaign.
George Stephanopoulos is a founding board member of the Next Generation Initiative.