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ABC's Sam Donaldson Retires After 41 Years

By Rick Pedraza   |  

ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson, one of the most recognizable figures in political television broadcast journalism, will retire at the end of next week after 41 years as an investigative reporter, network news anchor and talking head, the Washington Post reports.

Donaldson, 74, is the former White House correspondent during the presidential administrations of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, who is best known for his combative style, often times bellowing out during press conferences in order to be heard above the din of fellow news reporters.

"Some people leave the business bitter, feeling they've been cast out,” Donaldson tells ABC’s Howard Kurtz. “Or they hang on too long. I don't ever want to get in that position."

Donaldson, a four-time Emmy award winner, will continue to appear occasionally on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” with George Will and Cokie Roberts, as well as on ABC Radio and on ABC’s digital and web channel, “Politics Live,” The Post reports.

ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson says Donaldson's retirement "really is a loss of the bedrock" for ABC, MediaBistro.com reports. "I just love the guy. Underneath he absolutely has a heart of gold."

Donaldson, who came to Washington from El Paso, Tex., as a reporter and weekend anchor for Channel 9 at the start of the Kennedy administration, joined ABC in 1967 and formerly co-hosted ABC’s "This Week" with Roberts, and "PrimeTime Live" with Diane Sawyer. He later became a fixture on "This Week" when David Brinkley launched the program in 1981.

Donaldson and his wife, Jan, plan to spend time on their cattle ranch in Texas, ABC News reports.

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ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson, one of the most recognizable figures in political television broadcast journalism, will retire at the end of next week after 41 years as an investigative reporter, network news anchor and talking head, the Washington Post reports. Donaldson,...
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