Ted Koppel (1940- ) graduated from Syracuse University in 1960 before attending graduate school at Stanford University to study mass communications and political science. Koppel was the youngest correspondent ever hired by ABC Radio News when he started on the Flair Reports in 1963. He went on to spend the bulk of his fifty-plus-year broadcasting career with the American Broadcasting Company. Koppel had been chief diplomatic correspondent at the State Department for ABC News since the middle years of the Nixon administration when, in early 1980, he was given a debut as anchor for a new, ground-breaking late night news program, Nightline. For 25 years, through the pre-cable news era of the 1980s and into the post-9/11 years of the second Gulf War, Koppel held down that post nightly as Nightline grew into a television and journalistic landmark.

Throughout his years on Nightline, Koppel also remained active as an independent journalist and producer, overseeing a number of award-winning news programs and documentaries with his own production company, Koppel Communications Inc. After his retirement from Nightline in 2005, Koppel continued his independent efforts, developing another series of award-winning news documentaries for the Discovery Networks, and a series of in-depth reports for the NBC News magazine program, Rock Center. Throughout his career, Koppel has been a prolific author, columnist, and public speaker. His written works include a novel, a memoir, and numerous pieces on journalism, mass communications, and modern life.

Beginning in 2012, with the donation of Ted Koppel’s personal archive of videotapes, the Syracuse University Libraries, in partnership with the Video Production Unit at Syracuse University, has been engaged in the digital preservation of the extensive collection. Due to natural videotape decomposition and the obsolescence of video playback equipment, the transfer of videotape content to a digital format is widely considered the best means of insuring continued access for future generations. To date, over 7,000 digital items have been archived, with enhanced descriptive metadata (names, topics, program summaries) added to facilitate research and educational access. Materials in the archive are made available through the Ted Koppel Collection website, as rights permit.

A finding aid to the complete Ted Koppel Collection is available from the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries.