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Barry Petersen    

CBS Correspondent & Author

In a career spanning more than three decades with CBS News, Barry Petersen has reported on everything from wars and natural disasters to Paris fashions and the return of American Jazz to Shanghai, China. His stories have been datelined from virtually every continent.

Petersen has interviewed Hollywood stars including Jimmy Stewart, Bill Cosby, Pierce Brosnan, and Sir Anthony Hopkins, as well as the leaders of the Bosnian war who were later tried as war criminals. He also met the President of the South Seas nation of Kiribati, who showed up for the interview barefoot.

His war reporting includes being imbedded with US soldiers in Iraq and the US military's Operation Restore Hope, aimed at easing famine in Somalia. He rode out on a tank in a convoy of Soviet troops retreating from Afghanistan and one of his reports was later featured in the movie Charlie Wilson's War. Petersen's coverage of the Bosnian war and the courage of men, women, and children under fire in Sarajevo earned him one of his Emmy Awards for "The Spirit of Sarajevo" on CBS Sunday Morning. In 2010, he was recognized with another Emmy Award for coverage of the global recession in China.

His Sunday Morning story about his wife Jan and Alzheimer's disease earned a national 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award and was nominated for a national 2011 Emmy Award. He later authored Jan's Story: A Love Lost to the Long Goodbye of Alzheimer's in 2010. Chronicling his transition from companion to caregiver, Petersen beautifully shares his and Jan's story in a work that promises to inspire thousands of families undergoing the same pain.

Speech Topics

A Conversation with Barry Petersen

Jan's Story: A Love Lost to the Long Goodbye of Alzheimer's

Imagine hearing these words: "She has Alzheimer's." Now imagine that "she" is vibrant, active, loving, healthy... and just 55. Acclaimed CBS News reporter Barry Petersen writes about hearing the unimaginable: what it meant, what it still means, and what he did--and didn't do--upon hearing that devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s. "Jan's Story" is a full, rich presentation of two people for whom "forever" suddenly and terrifyingly had an expiration date.

Barry Petersen is a longtime award-winning TV journalist who has covered wars, the devastating Asian tsunami, the historic confrontation at Tiananmen Square, the unspeakable deaths in Rwanda, and so much more, but was not even slightly prepared for what happened to his wife Jan.

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