Famous 20th Century Journalists

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Journalists, including Christopher Hitchens, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Svetlana Alexievich, George Orwell and Alexandre Trudeau

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Journalists

 1 Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson
6
Famous As: Journalist and Author
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and journalist. He is credited with creating his own subgenre of New Journalism called the gonzo journalism. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was later adapted into a film, Thompson was famous for his lifelong use of drugs and alcohol. His books have had a major impact on counterculture.

 2 Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters
8
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 25, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Barbara Walters is an American retired television personality and broadcast journalist. Renowned for her popularity with viewers, Walters appeared as the host of several popular TV shows. A pioneer for women in broadcasting, Walters became the first woman to co-host shows like Today and ABC Evening News. In 1996, she was named in TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars list.

 3 Truman Capote

Truman Capote
5
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 30, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 25, 1984
Truman Capote is best known for his novella Breakfast at Tiffany's, which was made into a movie that starred Audrey Hepburn, and the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. His short story Shut a Final Door won the O. Henry Award. He was a lifelong friend of author Harper Lee.
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 4 Louis Theroux

Louis Theroux
5
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: May 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Singapore

Renowned British-American documentary filmmaker, Louis Theroux began his career as a journalist with Metro Silicon Valley, Spy magazine and TV Nation series. He gained recognition with his documentary series When Louis Met..., and Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends. The two time BAFTA Award winner has also received appreciation for his documentaries The Most Hated Family in America and My Scientology Movie.

 5 Dan Rather

Dan Rather
5
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 31, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wharton, Texas, United States
Dan Rather shot to fame when he saved thousands of people during Hurricane Carla through the first radar weather report. Subsequently, he had a 24-year stint on CBS Evening News. He was fired following the Killian documents controversy and then joined AXS TV, hosting shows such as Dan Rather Reports

 6 Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite
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Famous As: Broadcaster
Birthdate: November 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint Joseph, Missouri, United States
Died: July 17, 2009
TV journalist Walter Cronkite, named “The most trusted man in America," is remembered for his 19-year association with CBS Evening News and his catchphrase "And that's the way it is.” His U.S. space program reports made him the only non-NASA person to receive the Ambassador of Exploration award.

 7 Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.
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 8 Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts
7
Famous As: Broadcaster
Birthdate: November 23, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States

A former basketball and tennis player, Rubin Roberts began her career as a sports anchor and reporter for a Mississippi channel, WDAM-TV, eventually joining ESPN as sportscaster, concurrently serving as a featured reporter for Good Morning America. In 2005, she left ESPN to become a co-anchor for Good Morning America, currently serving as an anchor for the same program.

 9 Lester Holt

Lester Holt
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marin County, California, United States

Lester Holt is an American journalist who is the face of 'NBC News' since 2000. He hosts and co-hosts some of NBC's important programs, such as Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News. In 1990, he was honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his work. In 2015, he was made an inductee of the California Hall of Fame.

 10 Christiane Amanpour

Christiane Amanpour
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: January 12, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
British-Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour is best known as the anchor of the CNN interview show Amanpour. She has also hosted PBS’s Amanpour & Company. She was criticized for her biased and pro-Muslim coverage of the Bosnian War. She has also been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression.

 11 Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: February 6, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Webster, South Dakota, United States

 12 Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: August 7, 2005

Canadian-American journalist Peter Jennings is best remembered for his stint on ABC World News Tonight, as its sole anchor. A high-school drop-out, Jennings became one of the U.S.’s Big Three news anchors, along with Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. He was known for his meticulous coverage of breaking news stories.

 13 George Orwell

George Orwell
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Motihari, Bihar, India
Died: January 21, 1950

The king of dystopia and satire, George Orwell, the pen name adopted by Eric Arthur Blair, was a well-known novelist and critic of the 20th century. A man with a strong mind of his own, Orwell never backed down from stating his views on the socio-political climate he lived in, which he expressed profusely through his influential essays and novels.

 14 Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: January 20, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Fareed Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist, author, and political commentator. He has been serving as an editor-at-large for Time and editor for Newsweek International. He has also been serving as a columnist for Newsweek. His show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, which he hosts for CNN, has won a Peabody Award

 15 Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson
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Famous As: Broadcaster
Birthdate: April 11, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire

Jeremy Clarkson has come a long way from being a local journalist to becoming a recognized public personality, thanks to his appearance as a presenter in the popular TV show Top Gear. He is credited with making Top Gear one of the most successful shows in the UK. His tongue-in-cheek presenting style and writing often provoke a public reaction.

 16 Fiona Bruce

Fiona Bruce
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: April 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Singapore

 17 Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 25, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States

Hailing from a humble background, Gloria Steinem went on to become a celebrated journalist and an iconic feminist. Founder of the New York magazine and Ms Magazine, her life has been dedicated to writing, talking and fighting for women’s rights, gender equality, legalisation of abortion, among other things. She brought issues like female genital mutilation to the forefront in America.

 18 Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver
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Famous As: Journalist, First Lady of California (2003-2011)
Birthdate: November 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Famous American journalist, Maria Shriver, is recognised for her long association with NBC. Her documentary series The Alzheimer’s Project earned rave reviews and she later founded the nonprofit organization, 'The Women's Alzheimer's Movement'. As the former First Lady of California– she was married to Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was the governor of California– she involved herself in numerous charity works.

 19 Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Geneva, Illinois, United States

 20 Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson
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Famous As: Television Personality, Gourmet, Food Writer
Birthdate: January 6, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Daughter of Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigella Lawson has written several bestselling cookbooks and hosted many culinary shows. Winner of the British Book Award and the Guild of Food Writers Award, Nigella has previously worked as an editor and freelance journalist and also owns a cookware range.

 21 Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
5
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: April 13, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: December 15, 2011

Christopher Hitchens was an advocate for New Atheism and a harsh critic of religion and of famous personalities such as Bill Clinton and Mother Teresa. He authored and edited many books on socio-political issues. As a journalist, he wrote for well-known publications such as New Statesman and The Weekly Standard.

 22 Albert Camus

Albert Camus
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Famous As: Philosopher & Novelist
Birthdate: November 7, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Drean, Algeria
Died: January 4, 1960

Albert Camus was a French philosopher and the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. His philosophical views contributed to the rise of absurdism, a philosophical concept. Also a prolific writer, Albert Camus had an illustrious literary career; most of his philosophical essays and novels are still influential.

 23 Gretchen Carlson

Gretchen Carlson
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Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: June 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anoka, Minnesota, USA

Known for her stints on Fox News and CBS News, TV journalist Gretchen Carlson made headlines when she accused Fox CEO Roger Ailes of having sexually harassed her earlier, eventually causing him to resign. The former Miss America is also a skilled classical violinist and a Juilliard alumna.

 24 Lucy Hawking

Lucy Hawking
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Famous As: Journalist, Novelist, Writer
Birthdate: November 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Lucy Hawking, daughter of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking, has been a journalist with New York Magazine, The Times, and The Telegraph. She has also authored several children's books, such as George's Secret Key to the Universe. She is the VP of National Star College and also works for autism research.

 25 Katharine Graham

Katharine Graham
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Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: June 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 17, 2001

 26 Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly
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Famous As: Conservative commentator
Birthdate: September 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Bill O'Reilly is an American author, journalist, and former TV host. The host of Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly played a major role in the success of Fox News Channel during his time at the channel. He is also credited with founding the No Spin News podcast, which he has been hosting since 2017.

 27 Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fareham, Hampshire, England
Malcolm Gladwell is best known for his bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. He has also written for The New Yorker and The Washington Post. His writings encompass subjects such as psychology, economics, and sociology. Gladwell has also co-founded a podcast company and hosts the podcast Revisionist History.

 28 Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England

Anna Wintour is a British-American journalist. She has been working as Vogue's Editor-in-Chief since 1988. Known for having an eye for emerging fashion trends, Wintour is credited with reviving Vogue as it was viewed as a stagnating publication when she assumed control in 1988. Nicknamed Nuclear Wintour due to her demanding personality, Wintour inspired the story The Devil Wears Prada.

 29 Edgar Ramirez

Edgar Ramirez
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 25, 1977
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Cristóbal, Táchira San Cristóbal, Táchira, Venezuela

 30 Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert
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Famous As: Film critic
Birthdate: June 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Urbana, Illinois, United States
Died: April 4, 2013

Roger Ebert was an American journalist, author, screenwriter, film historian, and film critic. While working as a film critic for the daily newspaper Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, becoming the first film critic to be honored with the prestigious award. He was often described as America's most influential and prominent film critic of all time.

 31 Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond
4
Famous As: Television presenter best known for co-hosting the BBC Two motoring programme Top Gear from 2002 until 2015
Birthdate: December 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Solihull, England

 32 James May

James May
4
Famous As: TV Presenter
Birthdate: January 16, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bristol, United Kingdom

James May is an English journalist and television presenter. May is known for co-presenting the popular factual television show Top Gear alongside Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson. James May is credited with co-founding the independent TV production company W. Chump and Sons.

 33 Jill Wendy Dando

Jill Wendy Dando
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 9, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare, England
Died: April 26, 1999

 34 Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: August 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norman, Oklahoma, United States
Egyptian-American TV journalist Hoda Kotb is best known as the co-host of the shows NBC Morning Show, Dateline NBC, Today. Named to Time 100, she has also authored several books, including a bestselling autobiography. A breast cancer survivor, she now also works to raise awareness about the disease.

 35 Edward R. Murrow

Edward R. Murrow
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: April 25, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guilford County, North Carolina, United States
Died: April 27, 1965

 36 Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow
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Famous As: American television host
Birthdate: April 1, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Castro Valley, California, United States
The first openly lesbian person to win the Rhodes Scholarship, Rachel Maddow began her career as a radio host. She then gained fame with MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. She wrote a bestselling book and launched a podcast, too. She is also known for her relationship with artist Susan Mikula.

 37 Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo
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Famous As: Journalist, Political Leader
Birthdate: May 26, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hertfordshire
Former Conservative MP from Enfield Southgate, and Kensington and Chelsea, Michael Portillo, later hosted the BBC documentaries Great British Railway Journeys and Great Continental Railway Journeys. A Thatcherite and an EU-sceptic, he gave rise to the term "Portillo moment" when he lost the Conservative Enfield Southgate seat in 1997.

 38 Wagner Moura

Wagner Moura
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: June 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rodelas, Bahia, Brazil

 39 Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer
4
Famous As: Broadcaster, 56th Mayor of Cincinnati
Birthdate: February 13, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Highgate, London, England

English-born American television presenter, actor, politician, and musician Jerry Springer is a multifaceted man. A qualified lawyer, he shifted to politics from law as a young man. After a few years, he moved to journalism and found considerable success. As a TV presenter, he is best known for the tabloid talk show, The Jerry Springer Show. 

 40 Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith
5
Famous As: Television Personality
Birthdate: October 14, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Stephen A. Smith is an American sports journalist, sports radio host, and sports television personality. Known for his use of popular catchphrases, such as stay off the weed and blasphemous, Smith has been playing a major role in the success of ESPN's First Take. He also appears on SportsCenter and hosts his own radio show, The Stephen A. Smith Show.

 41 Maria Menounos

Maria Menounos
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 8, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Medford, Massachusetts, USA

Maria Menounos began her career with a win at the Miss Massachussetts Teen USA pageant. At 22, she became the youngest person to co-host Entertainment Tonight. Currently the CEO of AfterBuzz TV, she has also been a professional wrestler and has penned several self-help books. She also supports many charitable initiatives.

 42 Jesse Watters

Jesse Watters
5
Famous As: Political Commentator
Birthdate: July 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Jesse Watters is best known for his aggressive ambush journalism and for his vox pop interviews featured in the "Watters' World” segment of the show The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News. A seasoned political commentator, he has also hosted the talk shows The Five and Outnumbered.

 43 Pauly Shore

Pauly Shore
4
Famous As: Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Musician, Journalist
Birthdate: February 1, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hollywood

 44 Al Roker

Al Roker
4
Famous As: Weather Forecaster
Birthdate: August 20, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
Al Roker is best known as the weather anchor of Today on NBC. He is also a co-host on shows such as 3rd Hour Today. He set a Guinness world record by reporting non-stop for 34 hours. He has co-authored several books, including a set of murder mysteries. 

 45 Gloria Borger

Gloria Borger
6
Famous As: Political Analyst & Journalist
Birthdate: September 22, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Rochelle, New York
Emmy-nominated journalist Gloria Borger serves as the CNN chief political analyst and is best known for appearing on The Situation Room. She has previously worked as a national political correspondent for CBS News and been part of the CBS shows 60 Minutes II and Face the Nation.

 46 Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: June 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

As one of the leading television journalists for the past 10 years, Anderson Cooper has played a prominent role in influencing several important events in the United States of America. An openly gay man, Anderson Cooper has also served as an inspiration to the entire LGBTQ community.

 47 Martha Gellhorn

Martha Gellhorn
6
Famous As: Novelist & Travel writer
Birthdate: November 8, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: February 15, 1998

 48 Anna Richardson

Anna Richardson
4
Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: September 27, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wellington, Telford, United Kingdom
Anna Richardson is best known as a presenter for various Channel 4 shows such as The Sex Education Show and its four subsequent series. She has also appeared on shows such as Secret Eaters, Naked Attraction, and Love Bites. She is openly bisexual and is currently dating comedian Sue Perkins.

 49 Lorenza Izzo

Lorenza Izzo
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 19, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Santiago, Chile

 50 Julie Chen

Julie Chen
4
Famous As: Television personality, News anchor
Birthdate: January 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States