February 8, 2013
"Up Close and Very Personal"
- Emmy and Peabody Award Winner
- First Full-time Female Network News White House Correspondent
- ABC News Reporter through Seven Presidential Campaigns and Administrations
Ann Compton is now covering a seventh president for ABC News in a career that has taken her to the White House, Capitol Hill, through a generation of presidential campaigns, from the Cold War to the Internet Revolution.
On September 11, 2001, Compton was the only broadcast reporter allowed to remain onboard Air Force One during the dramatic hours when President Bush was unable to return to Washington. Her reports were singled out by the judges who awarded ABC News an Emmy for the network's coverage that day.
Weeks after the Watergate scandal came to an end, Compton became the first woman assigned to cover the White House by a network television news organization and she was one of the youngest to receive the assignment.
Reporting for all ABC News broadcasts, Compton has traveled around the globe and through all 50 states with presidents, vice presidents and first ladies. Twice during campaigns she was invited to serve as a panelist for presidential debates (1988 and 1992) and she was assigned as a floor reporter at the 1976 Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
In 2000, as the age of live video streaming dawned on the Internet, Compton became chief Washington correspondent for ABCNEWS.com where she wrote and anchored a daily political column, “On Background.”
Compton began her broadcasting career in Virginia, where an internship at Hollins College (now University) led to a full-time job reporting for WDBJ TV, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke. She established a State Capitol Bureau in Richmond for the station. In 1973, ABC News hired her and she reported from New York for one year and then she was assigned to the White House.
Compton was part of the team awarded the prestigious Silver Baton Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for the network's coverage of September 11, 2001. Her coverage of September 11 was also recognized in ABC News' Emmy and Peabody awards. In June 2000, she was inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame by the Society of Professional Journalists. She was voted into the national Radio Hall of Fame in 2004.
Compton was elected "president" twice, to lead the White House Correspondents' Association in 2007 and the Radio Television Correspondents Association in 1987-88. For fifteen years served on the advisory board of the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center in New York. Compton says her most valued award is a golden statuette from the National Mothers' Day Committee naming her a Mother of the Year in 1988.
Compton is married to Dr. William Hughes, a physician in Washington, D.C., and they are the parents of three sons and a daughter.
Reading List for Ann Compton
In a natural follow-up to her national bestseller Front Row at the White House, the dean of the White House press corps presents a vivid and personal presidential chronicle (Syndetic Solutions).
Georgie Anne Geyer's retelling of her thrilling rise from cub reporter to foreign correspondent as she made her way into the male-dominated world of journalism. Geyer transports the reader to Guatemala, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, and Cambodia, recounting the history and politics, adventure and exhaustion of the time from a truly
unique perspective (Syndetic Solutions).
From Djuna Barnes' 1914 account of being force-fed to end her hunger strike, to Eleanor Roosevelt's 1938 "My Day" column, to Rose George's 2004 article about gang rapes in France, this collection provides a broad and deep look at reporting by women in the past century (Booklist).
The Central Readers' Library Department of the Tulsa City-County Library suggests the above books as complimentary reading selections for Ann Compton. All titles are available at the library. Please visit www.tulsalibrary.org to access the Tulsa City-County Library catalog system.