Lesley Stahl

Lesley Stahl Biography.com

News Anchor, Editor, Journalist(1941–)
Lesley Stahl is an award-winning television journalist. She's served as co-editor of 60 Minutes and anchored the news program 48 Hours Investigates.

Synopsis

Lesley Stahl was born on December 16, 1941 in Lynn, Massachusetts. Stahl got her start in television as a young reporter covering the Watergate scandal, and later covered the Reagan and Bush administrations for the CBS Evening News. In 1991, she was named co-editor of the television news program 60 Minutes. She's also worked as an anchor for the CBS program 48 Hours Investigates.

Early Years

Television journalist and anchor Lesley Rene Stahl was born on December 16, 1941 in Lynn, Massachusetts. She is the daughter of Louis Stahl, a successful food executive, and his wife, Dorothy, an unproduced screenwriter. Stahl has one other sibling, her younger brother Jeffrey.

After high school, Stahl enrolled at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where she graduated, cum laude, in 1963. She then pursued graduate work at Columbia University, where she studied zoology in hopes of becoming a doctor.

While at Columbia, Stahl married a doctor named Jeffrey Gordon. The relationship, however, was short lived and the two were divorced after three years. Getting back on her feet, Stahl found work as a researcher on New York City Mayor John Lindsay's speech-writing staff, which eventually led her to a research position with NBC's election team, in 1967.

National Success

After a stint in the news department of a Boston television station, Stahl was hired by CBS and relocated to Washington, where she cut her teeth as a national reporter covering the Watergate break-in and its aftermath. Stahl proved tenacious in her pursuit of the facts. "Lesley had the reputation of scratching your eyes out to get to a phone booth and get her story in first," a friend would later recall.

During her Watergate reporting, Stahl met the man who would become her second husband, Aaron Latham, a young writer who was trying to unearth facts for his own Watergate coverage. In the years since, Latham has gone on to have a stellar career, as well. In 1980, a story of his for Esquire was turned into the movie, Urban Cowboy.

Stahl's doggedness as a reporter made her a rising star at CBS. In the 1980s, she covered the Reagan and Bush administrations for the network's Evening News. She also served as moderator of the CBS public affairs program Face the Nation. In 1991, Stahl was recruited as a co-editor of 60 Minutes, television's pre-eminent news program. Her work has taken her all over the world, and put her on the front lines of some of the world's most important stories. Stahl has interviewed countless heads of state, from U.S. presidents to Margaret Thatcher, to Boris Yeltsin. Throughout her career, she has peered deep into emotional subjects such as the effects of United Nations sanctions on Iraqi citizens and the politics of cancer.

In 2011 Stahl and Steve Croft began co-hosting CNBC's 60 Minutes on CNBC, a spinoff of the original broadcast. 

Other Projects

In 1998 Stahl played herself on an episode of Frasier and in 2014 served as a correspondent on a climate change show documentary called Years of Living Dangerously. She has also written two books: Reporting Live (1999) and Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting (2016).

Awards

Stahl's accolades include the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television and the coveted Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award. Additionally, she's won several Emmy Awards for her work on Face the Nation and 60 Minutes.

Personal Life

Stahl and her husband reside in New York City. They have one daughter, Taylor.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!