From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.
He is the winner of four national Emmy Awards for stories broadcast on the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning" and "48 Hours." He also files reports for "CBS This Morning," CBS Radio and CBSNews.com.
Blackstone's reporting assignments have taken him literally to the ends of the earth. He has reported from both the North Pole and the South Pole and much of the world in between.
Since moving to the San Francisco Bureau in 1986, Blackstone has found the western states to be a rich and varied source for news. He has camped on the Alaskan tundra to report on the debate over the future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He has hiked through Yosemite and the Grand Canyon reporting on the National Park Service. He was one of the first reporters on the scene when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, spilling 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound.
Blackstone was with firefighters in Montana when their base camp in the Bitterroot Valley was burned over by the fire they were battling. He has joined geologists in the Cascades as they watched Mount St. Helens bubbling to life. In Louisiana and Texas he reported on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of Hurricane Rita on the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Blackstone began his career with CBS News as a foreign correspondent based in London (1980-1984) and Paris (1984-1986). He covered the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and reported frequently from Beirut during some of the most violent episodes of Lebanon's civil war. Combat assignments also took him to Central America to cover the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
In Africa he reported from Ethiopia when famine took nearly a million lives there. He traveled with rebel forces in Eritrea fighting for independence. In South Africa he covered the street battles and unrest that finally brought the release of Nelson Mandela and the downfall of apartheid.
Prior to joining CBS News, Blackstone was a reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (l974-1980). He was graduated from York University in Toronto and the School of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. He was born in Canada and became an American citizen in 2003.
* * *