Steve Kroft was named a co-editor of 60 Minutes in May 1989 and delivered his first report that fall. This fall begins his 13th season on the broadcast and his 22nd year as a CBS News correspondent.
Kroft's 60 Minutes report on the eco-terrorist group the Earth Liberation Front was among the first to focus national attention on the secretive group that has destroyed millions of dollars in property across the U.S. in efforts to punish those they feel harm the environment. He also got the first television interview with Jonathan Lebed, a teen stock manipulator who was the youngest person ever sued by the SEC. Kroft's story on Zimbabwean farmers under attack by marauding gangs underscored the break down in what was once one of Africa's most promising and stable democracies.
In 1998, two of his 60 Minutes reports were honored with a George Foster Peabody Award: "Veronica Guerin," a piece about an Irish reporter gunned down by drug dealers, and "West Side Story," an uplifting story about racial tension turned into racial harmony.
It was the second time he has been honored with a Peabody award. The first was in l992 for his 60 Minutes report "Friendly Fire," about a Gulf War incident that explored the tragic yet common issue of soldiers accidentally killing their own men.
In 1996, Kroft's report "The Worst Nightmare" was the first to document the involvement of the Russian mafia in the smuggling of nuclear materials out of the former Soviet Union. The story won the prestigious Renner Award for reporting on organized crime, awarded by the Association of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE).
In 1994, Kroft was honored with two of his six Emmy Awards. One was for a profile of Sen. Bob Dole and the other for a report on the Cuban government's policy of quarantining people infected with the AIDS virus. His most recent Emmy was for a 1998 story about the tough and flamboyant mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, who many believe could become president of Russia.
In 1992, his exclusive interview with then Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, was reported on the front page of virtually every newspaper in the country, and continues to be cited as a defining moment of that presidential election.
Two of Kroft's most significant reports have been about Chernobyl. In 1990, he was the first American journalist to be given extensive access to the contaminated nucler power complex in Ukraine. That report also won an Emmy for special achievement in broadcasting. Kroft returned to Chernobyl in 1994 and became the first American reporter to actually enter the crippled reactor building.
Other memorable 60 Minutes stories include: an undercover investigation on the rolling back of odometers by car wholesalers in Houston, which triggered a federal grand jury investigation that resulted in five convictions; the only television interview with Woody Allen during his bitter custody battle with Mia Farrow; a report on alleged jury tampering in the O.J. Simpson murder case; and his investigation, with producer Lowell Bergman, of Saddam Hussein's hidden financial assets, estimated in the billions of dollars, which attracted worldwide attention.
Before joining 60 Minutes, Kroft was a principal correspondent on the CBS News magazine West 57th. Before that, he was a foreign correspondent for CBS News based in the London bureau, a period during which he covered international terrorism in Europe and the Middle East, including the TWA hijacking in Beirut, the massacres at the Rome and Vienna airports by the Abu Nidal terrorist cell, and the Achille Lauro hijacking.
He has also covered the war in Beirut and the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. His report on the assassination of Indira Gandhi for the CBS Evening News won an Emmy Award.
Prior to his assignment in London, Kroft was a correspondent in the CBS News Miami bureau (1983) and traveled extensively in Latin America and the Caribbean. During that time, he covered the civil war in El Salvador and the U.S. invasion of Grenada.
Kroft joined CBS News in January 1980 as a reporter in the Northeast bureau in New York. He was named a correspondent in May 1981 and worked out of the Dallas bureau (January 1981- May 1983).
Before joining CBS News, Kroft worked as a reporter for WPLG-TV Miami, WJXT-TV Jacksonville, Fla., and WSYR-TV Syracuse, N.Y.
He was born Aug 22, 1945, in Kokomo, Ind. He was graduated from Syracuse University in 1967 with a bachelor of science degree, and was honored by that institution in 1992 with the George Arents Medal, the highest honor the university gives to an alumnus. Kroft earned a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Indiana University. He served with the United States Army in Vietnam as a correspondent and photographer for Pacific Stars and Stripes.
Kroft is married to journalist Jennet Conant. They live in New York with their son, John Conant Kroft.