Scott Pelley was named anchor and managing editor of the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH SCOTT PELLEY in May 2011. In addition to those duties, Pelley remains a correspondent on the news magazine 60 MINUTES.
With more than 20 years of experience at CBS News, Pelley has covered everything from breaking national news stories to politics to conflicts around the globe. Since bringing that experience to 60 MINUTES in 2004, half of the major awards won by the broadcast have been for stories reported by Pelley.
Pelley's recent 60 MINUTES reports include segments on late-breaking stories such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the mass murder in Tucson that seriously wounded Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords. His list of interview subjects includes President George Bush; Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke; Justice John Paul Stevens; Afghan President Hamid Karzai; Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and Sharif El-Gamal, the man behind the "Ground Zero mosque." His story of Mike Williams – the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon who survived the explosion that caused the Gulf oil spill – won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia award.
Through a series of 60 MINUTES segments, Pelley has also provided extensive coverage of the financial collapse of 2008-2009 and its aftermath. His story about homeless schoolchildren in Florida inspired an outpouring of response that included a local church group's pledge of $5.6 million. Additional reporting included profiles of the residents of Wilmington, Ohio, who were left stranded when the town's largest employer, DHL, shut down its domestic operation, and the "99ers," the unemployed who ran through 99 weeks of unemployment benefits and still found themselves jobless and desperate. In addition, he reported on "Stand Down," an annual encampment in San Diego to help homeless veterans, and Remote Area Medical, a volunteer medical organization that treats thousands of uninsured Americans.
His interview of a Marine Corps sergeant who led a squad accused of killing 22 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, won a 2007 George Foster Peabody Award. Another interview, the first in which former CIA Director George Tenet broke his silence about 9/11, won the Pelley team an Emmy.
Pelley's team's investigation into American "e-waste," tracing the secret shipment of discarded toxic technology such as video monitors to overseas wastelands, won six awards: an Emmy, the George Polk, the RTDNA Murrow award, Sigma Delta Chi, the
Loeb award and an Investigative Reporters and Editors prize. He broke news with "Rendition," an Emmy-award-winning investigation into the CIA's practice of handing over terrorist suspects to foreign countries known to use torture. For a "60 Minutes II" investigation on child slavery in India, Pelley and his team won an Investigative Reporters and Editors award in 1999.
As a correspondent for 60 MINUTES and, earlier, for "60 Minutes II," Pelley provided exhaustive coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was first to report live from the war zone after the invasion of Iraq and was one of the only reporters who did not embed with the military. Instead, he and his team went alone with two SUVs and, using a satellite dish, reported some of the most powerful stories from that war, including the fight for Umm Qasr and the fall of Basra. Following the invasion, Pelley reported on the uncovering of mass graves in Iraq and the guerrilla war against U.S. forces there.
As a correspondent for "60 Minutes II," Pelley was among the first reporters to arrive on the scene of the Twin Towers on September 11th, and remained at ground zero to provide live coverage of the towers' collapse and the subsequent search and recovery operations.
From 1997-1999 Pelley served as CBS News' Chief White House Correspondent, a period during he was first to report that Monica Lewinsky had become a cooperating witness in the investigation conducted by the Office of the Independent Counsel, and that President Clinton had been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury. Additionally, while reporting from the White House, Pelley covered presidential tours of South America, Africa, China and Europe. He also conducted the first interview with President-elect George W. Bush after the controversial 2000 election.
Before becoming Chief White House Correspondent, Pelley covered a number of noteworthy domestic and international stories, including the 1992 presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Ross Perot, the Oklahoma City bombing and the trial of Timothy McVeigh. He also reported on the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the Los Angeles Northridge earthquake, the Branch Davidian raid near Waco, Texas, Hurricanes Andrew and Hugo and NASA's shuttle missions.
In 1990, he was assigned for a year to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during the Persian Gulf crisis. He covered Baghdad and later broadcast live reports during Iraqi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia. He joined the troops of the XVIII Airborne Corps for combat coverage of the invasion of Iraq and the liberation of Kuwait.
Pelley serves on the board of directors of the International Rescue Committee, the refugee relief agency headquartered in New York City. He is Co-Chair of the IRC's Board of Overseers. He was inducted into the Texas Tech University alumni Hall of Fame and serves on the board of the university's School of Mass Communications.
Pelley joined CBS News as a reporter based in New York in 1989, prior to which he was a producer/reporter for WFAA-TV Dallas/Fort Worth (1982-1989), KXAS-TV Dallas/Fort Worth (1978-1981) and KSEL-TV Lubbock, Texas (1975-1978). He began his journalism career at the age of 15 as a copyboy at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper.
Scott Pelley was born in San Antonio, Texas, and attended journalism school at Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Jane Boone Pelley, have a son and a daughter.