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November 07, 2013

ABC Anchor Byron Pitts to Speak at Founders Day

Lake Erie College will host Byron Pitts, ABC News chief national correspondent and author of "Step Out on Nothing," as part of its annual Founders Day celebration. Pitts' lecture, titled "A Conversation with Byron Pitts," will take place Thursday, November 7 at 2:00 p.m. in the Morley Music Building. A news veteran with over 20 years of experience, Pitts shares stories of his coverage of the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the military buildup in Kuwait and the refugee crisis in Kosovo.

Byron Pitts, a multiple Emmy award winning journalist, is known for his thought-provoking coverage and his commitment to exceptional storytelling. In 2013, he became an anchor and the chief national correspondent at ABC. Previously, Pitts was the chief national correspondent for CBS Evening News With Katie Couric. He was also CBS's lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the September 11 attacks and won an Emmy for his coverage. Pitts was also named a contributing correspondent to CBS' 60 Minutes beginning in 2009.

Raised by a single mother in a working-class neighborhood, Pitts was illiterate until the age of twelve and had a persistent stutter. With his desire to play football, his mother mandated that he receive B's or above in school in order to play. He learned to read and went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan University. With the help of his roommate and a college professor, Pitts was able to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. By staying focused, he overcame his speaking and writing obstacles. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree with majors in journalism and speech communication.

Author of "Step Out on Nothing: How Family and Faith Helped Me Conquer Life's Challenges (2009)," Pitts is praised by 60 Minutes correspondent Lesly Stahl, who's calling his story "truly moving." In the book, Pitts shares how his faith saw him through his many struggles and how a few key people "stepped out on nothing" to help him change his life. Katie Couric also praises Pitts' work, saying, "No wonder he is such an inspired storyteller-his own story is inspiring."

Pitts' several prestigious awards include a national Emmy award for his coverage of the Chicago train wreck of 1999, a National Association of Black Journalists award and a second national Emmy award for individual reporting of September 11. He is also the recipient of four Associated Press awards and six regional Emmy Awards.

The event is free and open to the community. A light reception will follow in the Arthur S. Holden Center. Morley Music Building is not handicap accessible. Additional parking is available at the First Church of Christ located at 422 Mentor Avenue, Painesville. An RSVP is required to 440-375-7230 or


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