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Episode 18 – Byron Pitts


You may recognize Byron Pitts’s name and face because he has been part of the American landscape for a number of years. He is currently the co-anchor of Nightline and the chief national correspondent for ABC News. In the past, Byron has served as the chief national correspondent for CBS News and contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes.

Byron’s newest book, Be the One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship with Hope, shares the heartbreaking and inspiring stories of six young people who overcame impossible circumstances with extraordinary perseverance. In dark circumstances, these six teens needed someone to “be the one” for them—the hero to help them back into the light. Through stirring interviews and his award-winning storytelling, Byron brings the struggles and triumphs of these everyday heroes to teens just like them, encouraging all of us to be the source of inspiration in our own lives and to appreciate the lives of others around us.

Our podcast conversation covered a variety of topics, including inspiration and the struggles he has faced in his own life with words. When the interview was over, I remember feeling as if I had spent the last hour catching up with an old friend, rather than interviewing someone I had just met.

Classroom Connection 

Byron talks about obstacles he’s overcome in his own life and those that people he has met have overcome as well. His most recent book shares these stories of triumph in the hopes the stories of the people he interviewed will inspire others to “be the one” who succeeds in spite of the odds. 

Write about a challenge you’ve overcome. What got you through? How did you find a way to thrive in spite of the difficulties? 

Byron has received several awards, including national Emmy Awards for his coverage of the Chicago train wreck in 1999 and the attacks of 9/11. He also garnered recognition as NABJ Journalist of the Year in 2002 for his 9/11 coverage.

NCTE is excited to be found on the pages of Be The One, assembling and providing Byron with a list of resources that can guide readers in their quests to find help and hope. Many hands helped create this list, but a special thank-you to member Jenn Buehler for leading the charge.

Need a pick-up today? We hope listening to this episode will help make your day a bit brighter.