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Steve Kroft is an award-winning broadcast journalist known for his longtime stint with the program 60 Minutes.
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Steve Kroft was born on August 22, 1945, in Kokomo, Indiana, and went on to pursue a career as a television reporter. He worked for CBS News in London, England, and for the series West 57th before joining the staff of 60 Minutes, establishing a decades-long stint with the program. With landmark presidential interviews and complex reports, he has won multiple Peabody Awards and Emmy Awards.
Journalist. Born August 22, 1945, in Kokomo, Indiana. Steve Kroft's father, Fred Kroft, was a metallurgist who worked for the Union Carbide Corporation, a prominent chemicals company. Kroft's father was also an enthusiastic and talented golfer who had starred on Purdue University's golf team, and the sport became Steve's childhood obsession. "I started playing when I was 12," he recalls. "My father was a very good golfer and he got me started early. My grandfather played too. It was just something that the Kroft family did."Kroft played on the golf team at Kokomo High School and, upon graduating in 1963, he enrolled at Syracuse University, where he also played the sport competitively. While at Syracuse, Kroft also developed a new passion—journalism. Kroft began studying the subject at the famed journalism department of Syracuse's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
After graduating with his bachelor's of science in 1967, Kroft was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in the Vietnam War. He was assigned to the information office of the 25th Infantry Division, where his tasks included escorting television crews while they documented the front-lines. While on duty, Kroft met many prominent journalists, including his 60 Minutes predecessor Morley Shafer. "I ran into Morley very briefly in Cu Chi in 1970," Kroft later recalled. "He does not remember, but his mere presence scared the daylights out of all the brass. I'm sure they must have had something to hide." While still on active duty, Kroft began working as a correspondent and photographer for Stars and Stripes, the independent newspaper operating within the Defense Department. Kroft gained a lot of field experience at Stars and Stripes, including a chance to cover the Vietnam War, an event which he referred to as "the biggest story of my generation."
After leaving the army in 1971, Kroft returned to Syracuse, New York, where he worked for local television news station WSYR-TV. After several years in that job, Kroft decided to return to school for further journalism training. He attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and graduated with a master's degree in 1975. "I knew I wanted to become a network correspondent eventually," he later remembered, "and thought a year in New York at Columbia would improve my credentials if, and when, the opportunity presented itself." After graduating from Columbia, Kroft moved to Florida, where he worked as a reporter for two prominent local news channels: Miami's WPLG-TV and Jacksonville's WJXT-TV.
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