Steve Kroft was named a 60 MINUTES correspondent in May 1989 and delivered his first report that September. The 2011-12 season is his 23rd on the broadcast.
Kroft reported two of the biggest news stories of 2011, getting the only interview of President Barack Obama on the killing of Osama bin Laden and revealing that author and humanitarian Greg Mortenson lied in his best-selling book, “Three Cups of Tea,” and misrepresented the achievements of his charity. In 2010, he was chosen for the Paul White Award by the Radio, Television and Digita l News Association (RTDNA) – the highest honor from the industry’s largest peer association. At the same time, he became the only 60 MINUTES correspondent to ever win two Peabody Awards in the same year.
One was for a story on the vulnerability to computer hackers of crucial infrastructures like the power grid, and the other for a story examining the enormous sums of money spent prolonging the lives of dying Americans, bringing his total number of Peabodys to five.
The year 2010 continued to bring more recognition, as he received a George Polk award for his report attributing wild swings in the price of oil to Wall Street speculation and an Emmy for his report on rising Islamic militancy in Pakistan.
In 2008, he landed what was arguably the biggest interview of the year: the first postelection sit-down with Barack and Michelle Obama. It was broadcast on 60 MINUTES Nov. 16 to 25.1 million viewers, the largest primetime television audience of the season to that point.
His joint investigation with the Washington Post exposing the deeply flawed forensic science of bullet lead analysis won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award earlier in 2008 and was one of four major awards he won in the space of a year. He won the Sigma Delta Chi award for the same story and the coveted Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University silver baton for an investigation into the disappearance of over $500 million from Iraq’s treasury.
He also received the Fred Friendly First Amendment award from Quinnipiac University, one of the industry’s most prestigious recognitions, in May 2007. His considerable body of work also was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in September 2003. And one of his finest investigative stories, a report examining the conflicts of interest between military contractors and the government in the awarding of contracts, “All in the Family” (April 2003), earned him a Peabody Award.
His exclusive 1992 interview with then-Governor Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, ended up on the front page of virtually every newspaper in the country, and it is continually cited as one of the defining moments of that presidential election.
He joined CBS News in January 1980 as a reporter in the Northeast bureau in New York. He was named a correspondent in May 1981 and worked out of the Dallas bureau (Jan. 1981 to May 1983).
Before joining CBS News, Kroft was a reporter for WPLGTV Miami, WJXT-TV Jacksonville, Florida and WSYR-TV Syracuse, N.Y. He was born Aug. 22, 1945, in Kokomo, Ind., and was graduated from Syracuse University in 1967 with a bachelor of science degree.
He was honored by his alma mater in 1992 with the George Arents Medal, the highest honor the university gives to an alumnus. Kroft earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Indiana University.
He served with the United States Army in Vietnam as a correspondent and photographer for Pacific Stars and Stripes. Kroft is married to journalist Jennet Conant. They live in New York with their son, John Conant Kroft