NBC News Correspondent Bob Dotson has been in more motel rooms than the Gideon Bible, crisscrossing this country, four million miles, practically non-stop, for forty years, searching for people who are practically invisible, the ones who change our lives, but don’t take time to Twitter and tell us about it.
Dotson’s long running series, "The American Story with Bob Dotson," is a regular feature on “Today,” and his third book American Story, a Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things is a New York Times Best Seller. His literary works have won the Christopher Award for outstanding non-fiction in 2014 and the George Washington Honor Medal for excellence. He has also received more than 100 awards for his work in broadcast journalism, including eight National Emmys and eleven nominations. The Radio Television Digital News Association has honored Dotson with a record five Edward R. Murrow Awards – for "Best Network News Writing” and more than a dozen other awards for his reporting. The Society of Professional Journalists cited him three times for “Best Network Television News Series.” Dotson’s work has won top journalism awards from the National Press Photographers, Dupont-Columbia and Robert F. Kennedy Foundation.
His stories have taken him to every state, many times, and around the world. Dotson is an internationally acclaimed documentary producer. His film, El Capitan's Courageous Climbers (NBC Productions,) was the winner of seven International Film and Video Festivals and was awarded documentary's highest honor, the CINE Grand Prize. He was also the writer and host of “Bob Dotson's America,” a series of half-hour programs on the Travel Channel.
Over the years, Dotson saved more than six thousand original story tapes, whenever his bosses, looking to save space, tossed them out. He preserved not just the stories themselves, but every field cassette. For three decades, they were maintained at his own expense in air-conditioned rooms -- first in his basement then, as the collection grew, in warehouses. He returned this rare archive to NBC and it is now available to scholars.
Dotson began his broadcasting career at the NBC station in Oklahoma City, WKY-TV (now KFOR-TV), where he was director of Special Projects. In that post, he produced and directed 19 documentary programs from 1969 until 1975. He joined NBC News in 1975 as a reporter at WKYC-TV, the NBC television station in Cleveland. Two years later, he opened NBC's first news bureau in Dallas from which he covered Central America. In 1979 he moved to the NBC News bureau in Atlanta. In addition to his Today and NBC Nightly News assignments, he also worked on several NBC News magazine programs.
Dotson was born in St. Louis, Mo. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and political science from Kansas University (1968) and a Master of Science in television and film from Syracuse University (1969) where he was a Graduate Fellow and Outstanding Masters candidate. While attending college, he was a reporter and photographer for KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo., and was news director and reporter for KFKU-KANU-FM in Lawrence, Kan.
Dotson lives in New York City with his wife, the former Linda Puckett. They have one daughter, Amy.