Bill Plante

Bill Plante

CBS News White House Correspondent
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Program Descriptions

  • Keynote talks based on the news and his personal experiences

Biography Read more

(CBS) Bill Plante has been a CBS News White House Correspondent since January 1993, having been named to the position after covering the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. Plante's reports are seen regularly on The Early Show and the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.

Before that, Plante was CBS News' State Department Correspondent (1989-92), where he covered Secretary of State James Baker's trips to the Middle East, both before and after the Gulf War; the changing U.S.-Soviet relationship during that period; and the 1991 Middle East peace talks, among many others. He served as anchor of the CBS Sunday Night News (June 1988-August 1995).

Plante first worked the White House beat during the Ronald Reagan presidency (1981-89), covering the President activities and major overseas trips, including the historic summit meeting in Moscow with Mikhail Gorbachev. He was part of the CBS News team which received a 1986 Emmy Award for coverage of the Reagan-Gorbachev summit at Reykjavik, Iceland.

Plante was a floor reporter at the 1988 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. He also covered Reagan's 1984 reelection campaign and was part of the CBS News team that won an Emmy Award for its coverage.

Plante has been based in CBS News' Washington bureau since December 1976. Before his first White House assignment, he covered general and off-year elections, including the national political conventions. In 1968, he reported on the campaigns of Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon. During the 1972 campaign, Plante's assignments included covering candidates George McGovern and Sargent Shriver. In the summer of 1976, he covered Jimmy Carter and then, in the fall, Walter Mondale's vice presidential campaign.

His reporting has not been restricted to politics, however. Plante covered Pope John Paul II's visit to the United States and the fall of Skylab, both in 1979. Earlier that year, following the Shah's departure from Iran, he reported on the revolution in that country and was one of two American journalists to cover a revolutionary trial in Teheran. Plante was the reporter on a 1977 five-part series examining America's criminal justice system for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.

Plante served as a correspondent in the Chicago bureau (1966-76) after he joined CBS News in June 1964 as a New York-based reporter/assignment editor. During that time, he served two of his four tours of duty in Vietnam, reporting on the bombing strikes over North Vietnam, the Vietnamization and pacification programs in the south and the fall of the governments in Vietnam and Cambodia. Plante also covered the civil rights movement in Mississippi and Alabama, including Dr. Martin Luther King's historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

Plante has received many major broadcast journalism awards. In addition to Emmy Awards for his coverage of the death of Princess Diana, the Reagan-Gorbachev summit and Reagan's 1984 reelection campaign, he won an Emmy for his investigative report on the U.S.-Soviet wheat deal broadcast on the CBS Evening News (1972). Plante's international work was recognized with a 1971 Overseas Press Club Award for his reports on the India-Pakistan War, and a second in 1975 for Best Radio Spot News Reporting for his coverage of the fall of the South Vietnam and Cambodian governments and evacuation of American personnel.

He was born on Jan. 14, 1938, in Chicago. Plante was graduated from Loyola University in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in humanities, and he studied political science at Columbia University (1963-64). He and his wife, Robin Smith, an award-winning independent documentary producer, live in Washington, D.C. Plante has six sons.

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