Brinkley, David

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Portrait of David Brinkley (click to view image source)
David Brinkley
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Brinkley, David Gender: M
David McClure Brinkley
born on 10 July 1920 at 04:30 (= 04:30 AM )
Place Wilmington, North Carolina, 34n14, 77w57
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Przybylowski
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 17°47' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 02°43 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 08°42'


American TV news correspondent best known as the partner of Chet Huntley on the popular and award-winning NBC-TV show, "Huntley Brinkley Report," 1956-1970. Actually, the show faltered at first as the two men learned to pace themselves and with TV technology such that background pillars appeared to be growing out of Huntley's head. By the late '50s the show had found its footing and began to win its audience. Viewers liked the way basso straight man Huntley contrasted with the often witty Brinkley and their closing lines became part of their image; "Good night Chet," "Good night David," and "Good night for NBC News.

Brinkley has covered the presidential conventions since 1952. He is also known for "NBC Nightly News" after 1970. Since 1981 he has hosted Sunday mornings on ABC, "This Week with David Brinkley," a perfect vehicle for the autumn of his renowned career. Ever since his partnership with Huntley, who died in 1974, Brinkley has also been regarded by many as the best news writer in the business, packing more information into a hundred words than anyone else could.

Brinkley was the youngest of five kids but essentially an only child, as he came 20 years after his prior sibling. There were tensions at home as his dad, a minor railroad bureaucrat, was also a winemaker and his mom a prohibitionist. On the day that his dad died, by the time the spirit of her husband had departed his mom was pouring the spirits down the sink. David spent a lot of time in the library, a boy who always loved to read.

A high school English teacher suggested journalism as a career. In 1938, Brinkley dropped out of school and took a job at the local paper. After a stateside stint in the Army he worked for United Press in the South. Then in 1943, he was offered a job at CBS and moved promptly to Washington DC. When he arrived at the CBS office, he was refused an interview by the director who said he'd never heard of him. Brinkley sent him a message back to "Go to Hell," walked across to NBC and got a job in one minute. He worked there for 38 years.

Brinkley left NBC in 1981 because of a bitter feud with then president Bill Small over programming decisions, and finally, went to CBS.

A very private man who rarely speaks of his feelings, he has three sons, two of whom are journalists, from a 1946 marriage to former United Press reported Ann Fischer; they divorced after 22 years. In 1972 he married Susan Benfer, 23 years younger and with a young daughter. They have remained very close and she is comfortable and caring with his sons.

An expert woodworker, he also likes shooting pool, horse racing and poker. For many years he has been part of a floating card game in Washington. His first book, "Washington Goes to War," 1988, is the often comic account of a hayseed city suddenly coming of age in the '40s.

Brinkley employs a dry wit and terse style in news analysis. After 50 years as a broadcast journalist, he rails at the corruption of Washington DC with a surprising intensity. With silver hair, a bit bent with age, his voice still has the cadence and lilt that makes politics sound infinitely interesting and absurd. At 76 he has hearing problems and is a veteran of lung surgery. His book, "Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion," 1996, is a collection of Brinkley's homilies that come at the end of each Sunday show. His autobiography came out last year with the all-encompassing title," David Brinkley: 11 Presidents, 4 Wars, 22 Political Conventions, 1 Moon Landing, 3 Assassinations, 2,000 weeks of News and Other Stuff on Television and 18 Years of Growing Up in North Carolina."

Brinkley ended his 54-year career as a broadcast-journalist on 9/28/1997 when he retired from "This Week with David Brinkley," which ran for over 15 years on ABC.

The award-winning reporter and news commentator once remarked that he had "done the news longer than anyone on earth." David died on June 11, 2003 at his home in Houston, TX.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Social : End a program of study 1938 (Dropped out of school)
  • Work : New Career 1943 (Interviewed CBS, started with NBC)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1946 (Ann Fischer, 22 years)
  • Work : New Job 1952 (Started covering Presidential conventions)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1956 (Huntley Brinkley Report)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1968 (From Ann)
  • Work : End Major Project 1970 (Huntley Brinkley Report)
  • Work : New Job 1970 (NBC Nightly News)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1972 (Second marriage, Susan Benfer)
  • Death of Significant person 1974 (Friend and partner Chet Huntley)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1981 (Show "This Week with David Brinkley")
  • Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 1981 (Left NBC, went to CBS)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1988 (First book released)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1996 (Second book released)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1997 (Autobiography, third book)
  • Work : Retired 28 September 1997 (Retired from broadcast journalism)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from Stephen Przybylowski


  • Traits : Personality : Humorous, Witty
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Fifth of five)
  • Family : Childhood : Sibling circumstances (Siblings 20 years older)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (First marriage 22 years)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Age difference more than 15 yrs (Second wife 23 yrs. younger)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Foster, Step, or Adopted Kids (One step daughter)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Four kids, one adopted)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Same Job more than 10 yrs (Huntley Brinkley Report)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Vocation : Entertainment : News journalist/ Anchor (Huntley Brinkley Report, Nightly News)
  • Vocation : Military : Military service (Army)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction
  • Notable : Extraordinary Talents : For Public poise
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession