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Learn More About Byron Pitts

BYRON PITTS went from a functionally illiterate child who was an easy target for bullies to an Emmy Award-winning journalist and news veteran. An optimist by choice, he attributes his amazing attitude to his mother, who taught him that strength only comes through struggle.

Known for his thoughtful storytelling, on-the-ground reporting and in-depth interviews, Byron was named co-anchor of Nightline in 2014. He has covered national news stories and special features for the network, reporting across the news division, including Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir, This Week and 20/20.

Byron’s always-look-on-the-bright-side-of-life attitude coupled with his extensive reporting experience has made him a highly sought-after speaker. He motivates, inspires and informs while delivering a powerful message of believing in yourself and overcoming obstacles on your way to success.

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Speech Topics

  • No Excuses: How to Incorporate DEI at Your Organization
    Throughout his career, Byron Pitts has never been known to be silent. If he sees something wrong, he addresses it. And when it came to diversity, equity and inclusion of off-air talent at ABC, where he is co-anchor of Nightline, he knew he had to do something about it. Byron worked with the management of the broadcast company to address the problem. The result was the creation of a DEI advisory council for ABC’s parent company—the Walt Disney Company—to help change the culture across all of its brands. In this keynote, Byron shares his story, what DEI looks like and how to achieve it. He truly believes it’s something everyone needs to fight for. When speaking about the legacy of the late Civil Rights Icon John Lewis, Byron said it best: “John Lewis knew success and setbacks because he believed so deeply in America, fought so courageously. We have no excuse to do any less, wherever we stand.”

  • Step Out on Nothing: Overcoming Insurmountable Hardships
    It was August 25, 2006, Byron Pitts’ first on-camera studio open for the CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes. Executive Producer Jeff Fager poked his head into the dressing room. “Good luck, Brotha! You've come a long way to get here. You've earned it." If only he knew. Though growing up with separated parents and a mother who consistently worked two jobs to make ends meet was tough, many thought Byron Pitts’ biggest misfortune was that he suffered from a debilitating stutter. But Byron was keeping an even more embarrassing secret: He was also functionally illiterate. For a kid from inner-city Baltimore, it was a recipe for failure. Pitts turned struggle into strength and overcame both of his impediments. Along the way, a few key people "stepped out on nothing" to make a difference for him. From a challenged youth to a reporting career that has covered 9/11 and Iraq, Byron's triumphant and uplifting story will resonate with anyone who has felt like giving up in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardships. In this inspiring keynote address, he chronicles his astonishing story of overcoming a childhood filled with obstacles to achieve enormous success in life and the people who helped him along the way.

  • Education: The Most Powerful Weapon
    For famed journalist Byron Pitts, his proudest moment wasn’t when he won any of his many awards. Instead, it was the first time Byron, who was functionally illiterate until the age of 12, was able to read a note sent home from school to his mom. They both cried tears of joy. That is how much education meant to his family. His mother knew it could change the trajectory of his life. And it’s something that he still deeply believes in today. In this inspiring presentation, Byron motivates students and educators alike to believe in their dreams, the transformative power of education for themselves, their families and communities and that the American dream still can come true when you open your mind and heart to learning.

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Contact me today to learn how you can bring Byron Pitts to your organization!

Brenda Kane, Senior Vice President
617.614.1607 |

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