Brian Ross joined ABC News as chief investigative correspondent in July 1994. He reports extensively for “20/20,” “Primetime Thursday,” “Nightline,” “World News Tonight With Peter Jennings” and “Good Morning America.”
Since September 11, Mr. Ross and his team have broken numerous stories about the investigation into the terrorist attacks and anthrax letters. Among several other exclusive reports, Ross was the first reporter to name Mohammed Atta and describe him as the ringleader of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. He was also the first to report on Zacarias Moussaoui’s alleged role in the attacks and his questioning by the FBI prior to September 11. Ross’ “Primetime Thursday” story about the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93 featured the first airing of transmissions between the plane’s cockpit and air traffic controllers.
Ross uncovered new information for ABC News on the Valujet plane crash, the Unabomber investigation and the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. He also first reported the arrest of Robert Vesco, one of America’s most wanted fugitives. Ross’ investigations have ranged from an exposé of the illegal use of bogus airplane parts by America’s major airlines to the widespread corruption inside many court-ordered domestic violence rehabilitation programs.
Prior to joining ABC News, Ross spent 18 years at NBC News, serving as chief investigative correspondent for the news magazine “Dateline NBC.” His work was also showcased throughout the years on “NBC Nightly News.”
During his career at NBC News, Ross earned every major journalism award. In a two-part report for “Dateline NBC” in 1992, he investigated Walmart’s campaign to “Buy American whenever we can” and revealed that, over the seven years of the campaign, Walmart’s overseas imports had dramatically increased. Ross went under cover to Bangladesh and found factories full of children working to produce Walmart’s private-label clothes. His reports won several prestigious awards, including a George Polk Award.
Ross solidified his reputation for investigative reporting by breaking stories such as the 1980 ABSCAM story, for which he was honored with a National Headliner Award. In 1989 he broke a number of stories on the Colombian drug cartel, including the highly publicized story that Israeli mercenaries were training Colombian assassins. His exclusive report in March, 1990, that Iraq was trying to buy trigger mechanisms for nuclear weapons, just months before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, made headlines worldwide.
Over the years, Ross reported exclusively on such major stories as the French government’s spy operations directed against American corporations, a major gasoline tax scam operated by the Soviet mob, the big business of garbage disposal, the cruel exploitation of sugar cane workers in Palm Beach, drug smuggling and corruption in the U.S. Coast Guard and the BCCI scandal.
Ross joined NBC News as a correspondent in 1976. Soon after, his five-part “NBC Nightly News” series on the Teamsters Union won the 1976 Sigma Delta Chi Award and a National Headliner Award. In 1977 he won a National Headliner Award for a five-part study of organized crime in the United States.
Ross began his professional career in 1972 as a reporter at KWWL-TV in Waterloo, Iowa. From 1974 to 1976 he served as a reporter for WKYC-TV in Cleveland. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa.