The University of Alabama

UA’s C&IS to Award Dean’s Medal to Retired ABC News’ Cochran

Retired ABC News reporter John Cochran

John Cochran

TUSCALOOSA, ALA. — The University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences will honor alumnus and former ABC News correspondent John Cochran with its Dean’s Medal.

Cochran, a 1963 UA graduate in broadcast and film, was born and raised in Montgomery. He started his broadcast career as a student at The University of Alabama when Bert Bank hired him to announce records and read the news at WTBC radio in Tuscaloosa.

After military service and graduate study at The University of Iowa, Cochran worked as a television reporter and anchor at WSOC-TV in Charlotte and WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. In 1977 he joined NBC News, working first as its Pentagon correspondent and then as chief foreign correspondent from 1977 to 1987. He served as NBC’s chief diplomatic correspondent and chief White House correspondent before joining ABC NEWS as chief Capitol Hill correspondent in 1994.

Cochran has received three Emmy awards for his reporting — the first in 1981 for his coverage of the threat to Communism from the Solidarity labor movement in Poland, the second for his anchoring of reports during the overthrow of the Communist regime in Romania in 1989, and the third for his part in ABC News coverage of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He also received the Peabody and Alfred I. duPont awards for his role in the ABC News coverage of the attacks. He retired in 2011.

Cochran received the College of Communication’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1977, its Distinguished Achievement Award in 1989 and was inducted to its Communication Hall of Fame in 2001. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the College. In 1999 the University awarded him an honorary doctor of humane letters.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to present the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ Dean’s Medal to John Cochran, whose career has been truly legendary,” said Dr. Loy Singleton, dean of C&IS. “His lifetime accomplishments are a shining example, at the highest level, of what our students should aspire to. His friendship and guidance have been instrumental in the success of our College.”

The Dean’s Medal is an award presented to individuals who have served the College with distinction. The Dean’s Medal is given for sustaining friendship, unsurpassed loyalty and commitment to the mission of the College of Communication and Information Sciences.

Singleton will present the medal to Cochran at an April 1 luncheon.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Misty Mathews, communication specialist, mmathews@ua.edu, 205/348-6416