Syndicated daytime talk show host Katie Couric has canceled her scheduled appearance in Tyler on Tuesday, and newsman Bob Woodruff will speak instead, officials announced Saturday.
Couric cited a family emergency for the reason for her cancelation.
Woodruff will take her place and speak at 8 p.m. Tuesday at The University of Texas at Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center as part of the university’s distinguished lecture series.
Seats are still available, according to the Cowan Center’s website. Tickets can be purchased at the Cowan Center box office or by calling 903-566-7424.
Woodruff joined ABC News in 1996 and has covered major stories throughout the country and around the world for the network. He was named co-anchor of “ABC World News Tonight” in December 2005. On January 29, 2006, while reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces, Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq.
In February 2007, just 13 months after being wounded in Iraq, Woodruff returned to ABC News with his first on-air report, “To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports.” The hour-long, primetime documentary chronicled his traumatic brain injury (TBI), his painstaking recovery and the plight of thousands of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with similar injuries. Woodruff continues to cover traumatic brain injuries for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms and was honored with a Peabody Award in 2008 for his reporting on the subject.
Since returning to the air, Woodruff has reported from around the globe — North Korea on the country’s denuclearization process, Syria and Jordan on the exodus of Iraqi refugees in those countries, and from war-torn Sudan. In 2008 ABC News aired his critically acclaimed documentary “China Inside Out,” a closer look at how China’s rapid rise impacts us all and the beginning of what’s being called “The Chinese Century.”
In an August 2008, exclusive on “Nightline,” former senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards admitted in an interview with Woodruff that he had repeatedly lied about an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter, a campaign employee. In 2011 Woodruff covered the trial of John Edwards, who was accused and ultimately found not guilty of conspiring to violate campaign finance laws.
Woodruff has traveled to North Korea four times, most recently in 2011 to cover the secretive nation’s long range missile launch. He went to Japan one month after the devastating earthquake and tsunami to report on the race to stabilize the nuclear reactors. He also has covered the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, traveling extensively with the young members of the Royal Family.
Previously Woodruff was anchor of the weekend edition of “World News Tonight” and one of ABC News’ top correspondents. He was ABC’s lead correspondent on the 2004 Asian tsunami, reporting from Banda Aceh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Before moving to New York in 2002, Woodruff worked out of ABC News’ London Bureau. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he was among the first Western reporters into Pakistan and was one of ABC’s lead foreign correspondents during the war in Afghanistan, reporting from Kabul and Kandahar on the fall of the Taliban. His overseas reporting of the fallout from Sept. 11 was part of ABC News’ coverage recognized with the Alfred I. duPont Award and the George Foster Peabody Award, the two highest honors in broadcast journalism. He also was a part of the ABC News team recognized with a duPont Award for live coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Before becoming a journalist, Woodruff was an attorney. In 1989, while teaching law in Beijing, he was hired by CBS News to work as a translator during the Tiananmen Square uprising, and a short time later he changed careers. As ABC’s Justice Department correspondent in Washington, D.C., in the late 1990s, he covered the office of Attorney General Janet Reno, the FBI and ATF.
Before joining ABC News, Woodruff was a reporter for KCPM-TV, the NBC affiliate in Redding, Calif., from 1991-92; for the CBS affiliate WTVR-TV in Richmond, Va., from 1992-94; and for KNXV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, Ariz., from 1994-96. He joined ABC News in 1996, based in the network’s Chicago bureau.
In February 2007, Woodruff and his wife, Lee, co-wrote a bestselling memoir, “In an Instant,” chronicling his injuries in Iraq and how their family persevered through a time of intense trauma and uncertainty. The Woodruff family established the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) to raise money to assist injured service members, veterans and their families.
Woodruff has a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a BA from Colgate University. He and Lee have four children.