CNN anchor inducted into Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame
The Kenmore West High School graduate was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame Tuesday at WGRZ studios in Buffalo.
Blitzer got his start at the University at Buffalo as a history major but decided to take a different path after an influential conversation with one of his professors. Instead he pursued a master's degree in international studies at Johns Hopkins University.
The former Williamsville resident was also accepted into the international studies master's program at the University of Chicago, but ultimately decided to go to Washington, D.C.
"I am very happy with my choice," Blitzer said, noting that he uses the knowledge he obtained in graduate school every day.
Blitzer began his career in 1972 with the Reuters News Agency in Tel Aviv, Israel. Shortly after, he moved back to the United States, becoming a Washington, D.C., correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.
After authoring two books, "Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter's Notebook" and "Territory of Lies," he was often asked by CNN and other news networks to be an expert guest as a Pentagon correspondent.
This eventually led to Blitzer anchoring his own television broadcasts on CNN, and for more than two decades, he has reported on a wide range of major breaking news.
He has traveled throughout the world, breaking stories in the Middle East and interviewing such leaders as Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
Blitzer is the recipient of several awards for his coverage of the 2004 tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia, the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
He has interviewed world leaders, educating the public on the happenings around the world. Recent interviews include President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"It's great because I have the opportunity to ask serious, important questions to leaders of the world and foreign ministers," Blitzer said. "It's a real thrill to wake up and sleep smarter. I get a daily education. It doesn't get much better than that."
Blitzer, who visited his hometown for the induction ceremony, said it's always exciting to be recognized for the work he does, but this award is extra special because it comes from his hometown.
"You can take the kid out of Buffalo, but you can't take Buffalo out of the kid," Blitzer said.
He visits the area at least once a year, visiting friends and speaking at UB and other schools.
"It's always good to come back home and see old friends," Blitzer said.
"Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays and "The Situation Room" broadcasts from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday on CNN.