"I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America, as I surely do."
-- Dan Rather
An Evening with Dan Rather
7:30 p.m. Friday, September 6
SEFCU Arena, University at Albany
It is no exaggeration to call Dan Rather the voice of a generation, and in this special evening, he shares a wealth of anecdotes and insightful commentary on national and global news.
Rather's recent New York Times bestseller, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, offers a collection of original essays about the world we live in, what our core ideals have been and should be, and what it means to be an American.
At a moment of crisis over our national identity, Rather has been reflecting—and writing almost every day on social media—on our shared values and what matters most in our great country.
Reaching new audiences
Now in his mid-80s, Dan Rather has been active as a reporter since 1950 and he is still on the job.
In 2015, Rather created newsandguts.com, a news, media and production company to pursue his "play no favorites, pull no punches" brand of reporting.
"I love to work," Rather told Associated Press in 2015. "I have my flaws and I've made a lot of mistakes, but I've always loved covering news and I have a passion for covering news. I couldn't see myself not doing it as long as I have my health... I'd much rather wear out than rust out."
Photo by Ben Baker
Rather posts frequently on Twitter to his nearly 700,000 followers and his News and Guts Facebook page reaches nearly 1.6 million followers. Since 2013, he has hosted the hour-long original series titled The Big Interview with Dan Rather featuring in-depth discussions with a variety of celebrity guests on the AXS TV cable network.
A storied career
Dan Rather has interviewed every president since Eisenhower and personally covered almost every important dateline of the last 60 years. He was on the scene in Dallas in 1963, where he reported the news of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. He uncovered key developments as a White House correspondent during Watergate. He was outside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s jail cell in Birmingham and at the anchor desk for countless hours on 9/11 and the days that followed. He reported from the Berlin Wall when it fell, spent a year covering the jungle combat zones of Vietnam, and was forced off the air at Tiananmen Square when the Chinese government's crackdown began.
Replacing the iconic Walter Cronkite, Rather anchored CBS Evening News from 1981-2005. He also helped turn 60 Minutes into an institution, launched 48 Hours as an innovative news magazine program, and shaped countless specials and documentaries.
Upon leaving CBS, Rather was the longest-serving anchor on a nightly network newscast in American broadcast history.
The New York Post praised What Unites Us, Rather's eighth book, calling it a “much-needed collection of essays from Rather on American values, from the importance of empathy, inclusion and service to the qualities that helped found the nation.” Publishers Weekly said What Unites Us “provides a pleasant alternative to the reliance on vitriol and irony in modern political discourse... Rather has issued a stirring call for overcoming today’s strident partisanship.”
His previous books include Deadlines and Datelines: Essays at the Turn of the Century (1999) and his memoir Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News (2013).
The Speaker Series
UAlbany’s Speaker Series has brought world leaders and thinkers to campus since its inception 10 years ago. It has featured nationally-recognized icons including President Bill Clinton (Spring 2011), Earvin 'Magic' Johnson (Fall 2011), Bill Nye (Spring 2015), Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Spring 2017) and Aly Raisman (Fall 2018).
The series is sponsored by the UAlbany Student Association, Division of Student Affairs, University Auxiliary Services and the Alumni Association, in partnership with the New York State Writers Institute.