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Fred Graham

Court TV veteran Fred Graham joined the network as an anchor in 1991 when it first launched. Graham served as chief anchor and managing editor of Court TV, hosting the morning trial coverage program Open Court before assuming the new role of senior editor, heading the network’s editorial board, and reporting on key legal news events from the nation’s capital.

Graham is a journalist, lawyer, broadcaster and anchor. He received numerous awards for his reporting, including the George Foster Peabody Award, two American Bar Association Silver Gavel Awards, and participation in three Emmy Awards. He is the author of four books, The Self-Inflicted Wound (MacMillan 1970), concerning criminal law decisions of the Warren Court; Press Freedom Under Pressure (Twentieth Century Fund 1972) about the news media and the First Amendment; The Alias Program (Little, Brown & Co. 1976) concerning the Justice Department’s witness protection program; and Happy Talk (W.W. Norton & Company 1990) about developments – not all happy – in television news.

Over the past 45 years, Graham has been a practicing attorney, government official, legal writer for The New York Times, law correspondent for CBS News; anchor, commentator and senior editor for WKRN-TV, the ABC affiliate in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn.

Graham served as law correspondent for CBS News from 1972 to 1987, covering the activities of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Department, FBI and the legal profession. He also served as substitute anchor on the CBS News programs Face the Nation, Nightwatch and the CBS Morning News, and broadcast a weekly radio commentary, “The Law and You.” Graham covered numerous trials, including the Watergate cover-up and the trials of Daniel Ellsberg, John Connally, John Hinkley and John DeLorean. His television documentaries include “See You in Court” (CBS Reports), “Justice for All” (Public Broadcasting System) and “Ethics on Trial” (Public Broadcasting System).

Graham joined CBS News from The New York Times, where he had been the Supreme Court correspondent since 1965. Prior to that, he served as Special Assistant to Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz (October 1963-February 1965), during which time he also served as Deputy Chief Counsel of the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. Before that, he was the Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. He also served as legislative counsel for the Subcommittee’s Chairman, Sen. Estes Kefauver. Before moving to D.C. in 1963, Graham practiced law in Nashville, Tenn., with the firm of Trabue, Sturdivant and Harbison.

Graham was a founder of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and was a member of its Steering Committee. In 1980, he served as a Regent’s Lecturer at Boalt Hall, the School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1992, Vanderbilt Law School named Graham the school’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. His articles have been published in many newspapers, magazines and law reviews, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Harper’s, Esquire, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, TV Guide and The American Bar Association Journal.

Graham received his LLB from Vanderbilt Law School, where he served as managing editor of the Law Review and was also a member of the Order of the Coif. He then attended Oxford University on a Fulbright Scholarship and was awarded a Diploma of Law in June 1960. Graham did his undergraduate work at Yale University on an academic scholarship and received a B.A. in 1953. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 to 1956, seeing duty in Korea and Japan as an Infantry and Intelligence Officer.

Fred Patterson Graham was born in Little Rock, Ark., on Oct. 6, 1931. He received his early education in Texarkana, Arkansas, and graduated from West End High School in Nashville, Tenn.

Graham is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Tennessee. He is married to Skila Harris, a Director of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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