Brian Williams

Brian Douglas Williams
Brian Williams 2011 Shankbone
General information
Occupation(s): NBC Nightly News Anchor
Education: Mater Dei High School
Brookdale Community College
George Washington University
The Catholic University of America
Awards: Peabody Award
George Polk Award
Physical appearance
Gender: Male
Eye Color: Green
Spouse: Jane Gillan Stoddard Williams
Siblings: Three Others
Children: Allison Williams
Douglas Williams
Parents: Dorothy May Williams (Mother)
Gordon Lewis Williams (Father)
Pet(s): Two Dogs

Brian Douglas Williams is an American journalist who is the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news program of the NBC television network, a position he assumed in 2004.


Born in Elmira, New York on May 5, 1959, Williams was reared in a well-to-do Irish Catholic home. He is the son of Dorothy May (née Pampel) and Gordon Lewis Williams, who was an executive vice president of the National Retail Merchants Association, in New York. He is the youngest of four siblings. During childhood, his family moved from his birthplace, Ridgewood, New Jersey, to Elmira, New York. He lived in Elmira for ten years before moving to Middletown, New Jersey, when he was in junior high school.

He graduated from Mater Dei High School, a Roman Catholic high school in the New Monmouth section of Middletown. While in high school, he was a volunteer firefighter for three years at the Middletown Township Fire Department. His first job was as a busboy at Perkins Pancake House.

After high school Williams attended Brookdale Community College, after which he transferred to The Catholic University of America, and then The George Washington University. He did not graduate, and instead interned with the administration of President Jimmy Carter. He now calls leaving college one of his "great regrets". Williams completed a total of 18 college credits.

Williams first worked in broadcasting in 1981 at KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kansas. The following year he covered news in the Washington, D.C. area at TV station WTTG, then worked in Philadelphia for WCAU, then a CBS affiliate. Beginning in 1987, he broadcast in New York City at WCBS. Williams joined NBC News in 1993, where he anchored the national Weekend Nightly News and was chief White House correspondent before serving as anchor and managing editor of The News With Brian Williams, broadcast on MSNBC and CNBC.

Williams became anchor of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004, and his first year in that post was marked by coverage of two disasters: the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. NBC personnel felt that the program became his program (rather than predecessor Tom Brokaw's) with his coverage of the tsunami, and his reporting on Katrina, including from inside the New Orleans Superdome, was given praise by industry observers. His work helped earn NBC a Peabody Award, the Peabody committee concluding that Williams and the Nightly News staff "exemplified the highest levels of journalistic excellence in reporting on Hurricane Katrina." He also earned the George Polk Award for the extensive coverage of the hurricane.

Nightly News fell behind ABC's World News in the first half of 2007. Nightly News regained the lead later in the year and expanded it beginning in the fall of 2008. Williams was compared by Jon Friedman of Marketwatch to Walter Cronkite.

When Williams succeeded Tom Brokaw as anchor of NBC Nightly News, his annual salary was reported to be $8 million, and by October 2006, it had reportedly increased to $10 million.

On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, it was announced that Williams would be the host of Rock Center with Brian Williams, a news magazine program premiering on Monday, October 31, 2011, at 10:00 pm Eastern, replacing the cancelled drama series The Playboy Club. Named after the nickname of Rockefeller Center, the New York City landmark where NBC Radio City Studios are located, the program would become the first new NBC News program to launch in prime time in nearly two decades.

NBC cancelled Rock Center on May 10, 2013, after low ratings and having trouble finding a permanent time slot for the program. The last show aired on June 21, 2013. Williams reportedly felt "insulted" by the program's cancellation.

Williams married his wife, Jane Gillan Williams (née Stoddard) at the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan, Connecticut on June 7, 1986.

He currently lives in New Canaan, Connecticut with his wife, Jane Gillan Stoddard Williams; two children, Allison and Douglas Williams; and two dogs.

His daughter Allison is an actress who currently stars in HBO's "Girls".

He received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Bates College in 2005.