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Byron Pitts

Campus News | Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Byron PittsABC News “Nightline” co-anchor Byron Pitts will speak about his professional and personal journey in a talk hosted by Columbus State President David Harrison. Pitts, author of the memoir “Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges,” is a multiple Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has co-anchored “Nightline” since 2014.

Pitts overcame functional illiteracy and a debilitating stutter to become a successful journalist. He has covered national news stories and in-depth features across ABC News programming during his time with the network. Prior to joining ABC News, Pitts spent 15 years at CBS News where he served as Chief National Correspondent for The CBS Evening News, filed reports regularly for 60 Minutes, and won an Emmy for his coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2002.

First published in 2009, “Step Out on Nothing” chronicles Pitts’ story of overcoming a childhood filled with obstacles to achieve enormous success in life. Growing up in inner-city Baltimore, his parents separated when he was 12 and his mother worked two jobs to make ends meet. With his stutter and inability to read, the odds were stacked against him. As he overcame his impediments, a few key people “stepped out on nothing” to make a difference for him – from his mother, who worked tirelessly to raise her kids right and delivered ample amounts of tough love, to his college roommate, who helped Byron practice his vocabulary and speech. Pitts even learned from those who didn't believe in him, like the college professor who labeled him a failure and told him to drop out of college.

Pitts began his television career at WNCT-TV in Greenville, N.C. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1982, where he studied journalism and speech communication. Pitts is a native of Baltimore and currently lives in New York City.

While at Columbus State, Pitts will deliver remarks, participate in a chat session with college President David Harrison, and take questions from the audience. He will conclude his appearance with a book signing. Copies of “Step Out on Nothing” will be available for sale.

The event will be held at 3 p.m., December 7 in Nestor Hall Auditorium, 488 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus. Tickets are free with registration, available at


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