One of the top anchors of ABC news programming, Forrest Sawyer is familiar to audiences not only as the substitute host for Ted Koppel on "Nightline" but also as anchor of "World News Sunday" from 1989-1993, and as one of the hosts of the newsmagazines "Day One" (1993-1995) and "Turning Point", which premiered in 1994 as a weekly and became occasional specials. With his solid looks and unwavering voice, he seemed the quintessential news anchor--appealing without overpowering the news itself.
Sawyer began his career in radio, working at stations such as WDVH-AM in Gainesville, Florida, WVBF-FM in Boston, Massachusetts, and WGST Newsradio in Atlanta, Georgia. He remained in Atlanta from 1980-1985 as news anchor for WAGA-TV, then was brought north to be news anchor on "The CBS Morning News" from 1985-1987. He jumped ship to ABC in 1988 to serve As co-anchor of "World News This Morning" and as a contributor of news segments for "Good Morning, America". As part of the latter assignment, Sawyer anchored the early morning coverage of the 1988 political conventions. While anchoring "World News Sunday", he scored a major scoop covering the attempted coup against Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and later became the first Western journalist allowed access to the KGB's classified files on alleged Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. As Sawyer's profile at ABC News rose , he was frequently tapped as the guest host of "Nightline" and the various network He earned praise for a "Day One" segment that reunited American and Vietnamese survivors of the Battle of La Drang Valley. Sawyer has also anchored several specials for ABC News, including a 1997 entry, "Who Shot Martin Luther King, Jr.?" that was the first to detail the evidence--supported by the King family--that James Earl Ray may not have been the assassin of the human rights leader.
While not an actor, Sawyer can be glimpsed in the 1982 feature film "Sharky's Machine", in which he appeared as a news anchor. The film was made in Georgia during Sawyer's stint at WAGA-TV.