Emmy-Award winning journalist and CBS News correspondent
Randall Pinkston, B.A., 1973, grew up in Mississippi during segregation and a time of turbulence. He admits that while he did not know what the future held, he had dreams of a better day. "We knew that we had to be prepared to seize the opportunity."
Today, anyone who has followed the career of the three-time Emmy-Award winning journalist and CBS news correspondent knows that Pinkston did seize opportunities and watched many dreams come true. A native of Yazoo County, Pinkston has been a New York-based CBS News correspondent since1994. He has covered the war in Afghanistan from the front lines in Tora Bora and Jalalabad, as well as reported on devastating earthquakes in Turkey, the Albanian refugee crisis in Kosovo, U.S. military participation in the Balkans, and Saddam Hussein's past refusals to allow United Nations inspections in Iraq.
Pinkston received a 1996 Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism and the Edward R. Murrow Award for the documentary "CBS Reports: A Legacy of Shame." Pinkston is also the winner of two additional Emmy Awards: one in 1998 for his coverage of the death of Princess Diana and another in 1997 for his work reporting the TWA Flight 800 disaster.
Before his New York assignment, he was based at the CBS Washington bureau, where he had joined the network as a White House correspondent. While there, Pinkston became a fixture on "CBS This Morning" and CBS Radio, reporting on the Persian Gulf War.
Yet with all this national acclaim, Randall Pinkston has never forgotten his roots. He'll tell you that his favorite recollection of Mississippi is "the way the air smells after a summer rain…especially in Yazoo County" and will brag about his teachers from the Jackson Public School System. He will describe the helping hands of strangers who, out of simple human compassion, dared to be different and in doing so, impacted his life. And he will explain his fondness for Millsaps College and how it affected his outcome.
"Millsaps was a beacon of light at a time of political darkness, as it was the first white college in the South to voluntarily desegregate," he said, speaking to graduates at the College's 2006 Commencement. "You are part of an institution that initiated great changes in the overall social landscape of the times."
Pinkston was named as the 2003 Millsaps Alumnus of the Year and was presented an honorary doctoral degree in 2006. President Frances Lucas says this about him: "During his impressive career in journalism, Randall Pinkston has risked his own safety to bring vital information of international importance to the American public. He truly exemplifies the spirit of open inquiry, social advocacy, and global citizenry that Millsaps fosters in its graduates. We are proud to include him among our alumni."