"They laughed at me. I couldn't get a job. I went and I made the rounds, I met every news director, and they thought I was awful."
Young Sam Donaldson had risked everything. He had given up a secure job on a local station in Dallas, Texas to move to New York and try to break into the big time. Years of grueling work lay ahead, but in time Donaldson was to become one of the best-known, most-loved, and most-hated, figures in the world of broadcast news.
Within his field, Donaldson is well-known for his unstinting dedication to the job. Unlike most correspondents, Donaldson always assembled his stories himself, reviewing every piece of videotape assembled for a given piece rather than relying on a producer. Because of this practice, his stories were often the last to be delivered, just in time for broadcast. Consequently, his stories were not only up-to-the-minute, they also eluded the interference of the rewrite man.
Sam Donaldson first came to the attention of many Americans with his relentless questioning of Presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton as ABC's longtime White House correspondent. For over 40 years, he was a pillar of the award-winning ABC News team. Now retired from daily broadcasting, he can still be seen as a panelist on the Sunday morning political discussion program This Week.