John Pruitt is the Keynote Speaker for Reinhardt University’s commencement ceremony on April 30, 2011. A former anchor for Channel 2 Action News, Pruitt currently works on special programs and investigations for Channel 2 Action News.
“John Pruitt is a distinguished broadcaster and brings to Reinhardt a first hand view of so many of the life-changing events of our lives,” said Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood, president. “For many of Georgia's historic moments of change in the last thirty years, he was there. His knowledge and perspective will contribute to the understanding of our graduates as they prepare to enter the next major phase of their lives.”
Pruitt began his television news career as a reporter and cameraman, covering major civil rights stories around the South. From 1965-67, he served as an infantry lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Seoul, South Korea, and Fort Gordon, Ga. Upon his return to WSB in 1967, Pruitt resumed his reporting career, eventually rising to the position of weekend anchor. In 1973 he became anchor of the 6 and 11 p.m. news.
In 1978 John joined WXIA-TV as evening news anchor, but in 1994 rejoined WSB to anchor the 6 and 11 p.m. news. Pruitt anchored his last 11 p.m. WSB-TV newscast on July 7, 2010, ending a 41-year run as a late news anchor, and in December 2010, he anchored his last 6 p.m. newscast, ending 18 years with his partner Monica Pearson.
As an anchor, some of the major stories Pruitt has covered include Jimmy Carter's gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, the civil rights movement, the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the first flight of Lockheed's C5 Galaxy, the 1968 kidnapping of heiress Barbara Jane Mackle, the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the 1989 San Francisco Bay-area earthquake, the presidential inaugurations of Presidents Carter and Clinton, 11 Democratic and Republican conventions, and the aftermath of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.
Pruitt has a history degree from Davidson College, and has received many awards for his anchoring and reporting. He has won ten Emmys, including Best Male Anchor and Best Documentary; five Sigma Delta Chi Quill Awards; the UPI Award for his coverage of Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign and coverage of a north Georgia airliner crash; the Georgia Winner Award for Public Service; Father of the Year, Pioneer Broadcaster Award from the University of Georgia journalism school; the Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences; an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Service from Presbyterian College (2004) and the Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting Award from Di Gamma Kappa at University of Georgia School of Journalism (2006).
He is an active volunteer with many groups, including Literacy Action, the Nature Conservancy of Georgia and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Pruitt and his wife, Andrea, have been married for more than forty years and have two daughters, Kristina and Lisa, and five grandchildren. The Pruitt’s have four dogs; three Golden Retrievers and one Long-Haired Dachshund.
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