Birthplace: Pensacola, FL
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Shoulder-shrugging host of American Justice
Around 7pm on 8 June 1966, WIBW-TV newscaster Bill Kurtis was covering a particularly severe storm in Topeka, Kansas. Suddenly, an F5 tornado funnel touched down 20 miles southwest of the city and plowed straight through to Topeka's downtown area. Viewers heard Kurtis' warn: "For God's sake, take cover!" The storm killed a total of 16 people, obliterated 820 homes, and caused $100 million in damage (making it the most expensive tornado in history). It was on that day, during 24 hours of straight coverage, that Kurtis chose to abandon his budding law career for TV journalism.
After a nine years producing news pieces at Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM-TV, Kurtis left for New York to join the network. He anchored the CBS Morning News for a couple of years, before returning to anchor at WBBM. Soon after, he founded Bill Kurtis Productions, which began to pump out hour-long investigative news pieces for A&E. Thanks to his ubiquitous screen presence and voiceover work, Kurtis is practically synonymous with the A&E network, thanks to his popular documentary series American Justice, Investigative Reports, and Cold Case Files.
Kurtis spends much of his spare time in and around Sedan, Kansas -- a nearly-extinct rural town. He has been purchasing and renovating many of the old buildings in an attempt to attract tourism. Also nearby is Kurtis' 8,000-acre organic cattle ranch, the Red Buffalo Ranch.
Father: William A. Kuretich (b. 1914, d. 2001)
Mother: Wilma Mary Horton (b. 1911, d. 2002)
Wife: Helen (m. 1963, d. 1977 breast cancer, one daughter, one son)
Daughter: Mary Kristin (b. 1965)
Son: Scott Erik (b. 1970, d. 20-Jul-2009 complications from schizophrenia)
Girlfriend: Donna La Pietra
University: BS Journalism, University of Kansas (1962)
Law School: JD, Washburn University School of Law (1966)
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
Emmy more than 40 times
Wedding: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver (1986)
Endorsement of AT&T (2008)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy (28-Dec-2004)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (9-Jul-2004) · Bill Lawson [VOICE]
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