Sam Donaldson

March 27, 2012 by staff 

Sam Donaldson, Samuel Andrew “Sam” Donaldson, Jr. (born March 11, 1934) is a reporter and news anchor, serving with ABC News from 1967 to the present, best known as the network’s White House Correspondent (1977-89 & 1998-99) and as a panelist and later co-anchor of the network’s Sunday Program “This Week.” Donaldson was born in El Paso, Texas, the son of Chloe (née Hampson), a school teacher, and Samuel Donaldson, a farmer. He grew up on the family farm in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, which his father had bought in 1910, two years before New Mexico was admitted to the Union.

He attended New Mexico Military Institute as well as Texas Western College (now known as University of Texas at El Paso) where he served as station manager of KTEP, the campus radio station, and joined the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. From 1956 to 1959, Donaldson served on active duty as an artillery officer in the United States Army, attaining the rank of Captain (USAR). While on active duty in 1958, Donaldson was one of the military observers of an atomic test in the Nevada testing grounds when an atomic device with a yield roughly equivalent to the bombs dropped on Japan was detonated three thousand yards away from the slit trench which protected the observers.

Following military service, Donaldson was hired by KRLD-TV (now KDFW-TV), the then-CBS television affiliate in Dallas, Texas. After a year, he resigned and moved to New York City to look for a job in broadcast news. He failed to get one.

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