Currently alive, at 82 years of age.
US television newscaster
1940 – Born – Lancashire, England
1940 – Ted Koppel’s parents were Jewish Germans who escaped the Nazis by emigrating to England, where Koppel was born.
1953 – His family came to America when Koppel was in his teens.
1960 – BA Speech, Syracuse University
1962 – MA Communications & Political Science, Stanford University.
1963 – Married Grace Anne Dorney, attorney, VP of Koppel Communications, (they have 3 daughters and 1 son. One of the daughters were a reporter for CNN)
1962-1963 – Koppel entered journalism as a newscaster at a New York radio station in 1962, and joined ABC News in 1963, the same year he became an American citizen. At 23 when he was hired, he was briefly the network’s youngest on-air reporter.
1960’s – Through the 1960s, he earned kudos for his reports from Saigon on the Vietnam war, and his coverage of Richard M. Nixon’s re-election campaign.
1976 – Despite several promotions in the early 1970s, he took a leave of absence to care for his children while his wife attended law school. Even during his time off, though Koppel anchored ABC’s Saturday night newscast.
1979 – During the Iranian hostage crisis, he hosted a nightly after-primetime wrap of related developments. The ratings were high enough that The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage was not allowed to end when the hostages were released.
1980’s – It was renamed Nightline, and it has been ABC’s late night alternative to The Tonight Show and David Letterman ever since. Koppel has won 37 Emmys and seven Peabody Awards, eight DuPont/Columbia Awards, seven Overseas Press Club awards, two Society of Professional Journalism awards, and a George Polk award for TV network reporting. Despite all this praise, Nightline generally has the same familiar talking-head guests as any of the Sunday chat shows, and the program has been criticized for its blandness, predictability, and a perceived subservience to White House positions on controversial matters.
2005 – Koppel retired, and Nightline has continued without him.
Koppel is multilingual, speaking German, Russian, and French, in addition to his native English.
Koppel is an old friend of Henry Kissinger. Both Kissinger and Koppel come from European Jewish families; both moved to the United States as children. As Secretary of State, Kissinger once offered Koppel a job as his spokesman, but Koppel declined.
Koppel is also an excellent mimic, doing skilled impressions of William F. Buckley, and others, though he rarely does impressions in public or on television.