Press Club’s Runyon Winner for 2020: Judy Woodruff

By DAN PETTY

President, Denver Press Club

Celebrated broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff, the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, has been named the recipient of the Denver Press Club’s 26th annual Damon Runyon Award.

Woodruff will be honored by the club on Saturday, April 11, 2020, during a banquet at the Denver Athletic Club. The historic Denver Press Club is at 1330 Glenarm Place, Denver, and the Denver Athletic Club is across the street at 1325 Glenarm PLace.

Her reporting career began in Atlanta in 1970 at the CBS affiliate soon after she graduated from Duke University in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She joined NBC in 1975 to work as a general assignment reporter in Atlanta. In 1977, she moved to Washington, D.C., to become an NBC White House correspondent, covering the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

Woodruff then moved to PBS, working there from 1983-1993 as the chief Washington correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour while also anchoring “Frontline with Judy Woodruff” from 1984-1990.

In 1993, she jumped to CNN, where she worked for 12 years, anchoring the program “Inside Politics” and covering major events including Richard Nixon’s funeral and the War in Afghanistan. She returned to the NewsHour in 2007. In 2013, she and the late Gwen Ifill were named the first two women to co-anchor a national broadcast before Ifill’s death in 2016.

Woodruff joins the list of previous Runyon winners that comprise an honor roll of American journalism.

They are Jimmy Breslin, Mike Royko, Molly Ivins, Herb Caen, Pete Hamill, Ted Turner, Maureen Dowd, Tom Brokaw, David Halberstam, Ed Bradley, Carl Hiaasen, Seymour Hersh, George Will, Bob Costas, Tim Russert, Rick Reilly, P.J. O’Rourke, Anna Quindlen, Frank Deford, Mike Lupica, Katie Couric, Norm Clarke, Jill Abramson, David Simon, Marty Baron and Bob Woodward.

The award is named after Damon Runyon, a legendary journalist who grew up in Colorado, worked at The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News, and became a member of the Press Club in 1907.

Runyon later went on to fame and glory in New York City as a columnist for Hearst newspapers. He is best-known for a collection of stories called “Guys and Dolls,” which later was turned into a Broadway musical and a movie.

The Runyon Award banquet is the major fundraiser of the Press club — the nation’s oldest. Proceeds go toward the club’s historic preservation and five scholarships for $1,500 and one — the John C. Ensslin Memorial Scholarship — for $3,000. The scholarships are reserved for six college journalists from universities in Colorado.

Tickets are $125 for members and $200 for non-members. Tickets for a pre-event VIP reception with Judy Woodruff will be available for $50.

For more information, email the Runyon organizing committee.