Former NBC Anchor Brokaw Speaks at Chautauqua Institution - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Former NBC Anchor Brokaw Speaks at Chautauqua Institution

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Politics, history and the media were just some of the many topics former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw spoke about at the Chautauqua Institution Monday morning. Brokaw was the keynote speaker of the 19th annual PNC Day, sponsored by PNC Bank.

"We've had political speakers, sports figures, entertainers, authors, and this year it just so happened that Tom Brokaw was going to be the kickoff speaker of the season and that's the speaker we chose to sponsor,” said Marlene Mosco, regional president of PNC Bank.

Brokaw spoke to more than 5,000 people on a number of topics, including his broadcast journalism career that now spans six decades. He focused on the art of storytelling through the written word by reading some of the most memorable passages from his book, the greatest generation. Brokaw said he aims to make his writing connect with readers.

"So my writing is a combination of the broadcasting I've done over the years and also my great admiration for literary style,” said Brokaw, now a special correspondent for NBC News. “A number of my friends who read The Greatest Generation said I could hear you in every paragraph."

While covering wars and elections have certainly made an impact on Brokaw's broadcasting career, he says it all started with his family roots, particularly those of his father.

"I just thought about his life growing up in the Depression during the war, I remember he was a construction worker,” Brokaw said. “And you've had the success you've had, and that's the American Dream and your dad deserved a lot of the credit."

Those in attendance say Brokaw inspired them during Monday’s lecture, the first of the season at the Institution.

"The one thing was kind of a moment when I had a realization was that if it wasn't for the people before us, we would live a very different live today so it was just a big realization that their sacrifices, we should be very grateful for them," said Besma Abbaoui, of Columbus, Ohio.

Brokaw also told the audience at Chautauqua that his health is improving every day. He was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma last August.

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