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Lara Logan, CBS Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent


Lara Logan, CBS Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Photo: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

Lara Logan, CBS' New Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent:

In June 2008, award-winning then-37-year-old journalist Lara Logan was named to the CBS network's prestigious Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent position.

Logan rose prominence due to her frank coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to her outspoken activist criticisms of U.S. war efforts and of media underreporting of the wars.

She's been likened to a young Dan Rather or Mike Wallace, and is often described as courageous to the point of recklessness. She was the only U.S. network reporter in Baghdad when the city was invaded, and when Saddam's statue was toppled.

Lara Logan Assaulted During Egyptian Uprising:

Lara Logan was providing live coverage in harrowing Cairo streets on February 11, 2011 when President Mubarak stepped down.

CBS reported, "CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square... when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

"In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers."

Logan's Coverage from War Zones & Troubled Areas:

Prior to 2002, Lara Logan covered wars and turmoil in Zimbabwe, Kosovo, Angola, Mozambique, India, Gaza and the West Bank.

From 2002 to now, Logan has reported daily from Iraq and Afghan frontlines, often as a troop imbed. Her coverage has been harrowing, controversially explicit and investigative.

She's often aired her well-informed activist views about U.S. mismanagement of the conflicts, and related media underreporting, on CBS, CNN, and on late-night talk shows and The Daily Show. (See quotes below.)

"We're doing extremely badly," she told Jay Leno on-air on October 15, 2007 when asked about the Iraq War.

Lara Logan's CBS Career:

  • May 2002 - CBS News correspondent, "60 Minutes" contributor
  • February 2006 - CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent
  • July 2008 - CBS Network Chief foreign Affairs Correspondent
Commented CBS anchor Bob Schieffer in 2006, "I think she's the next Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer. She is absolutely fearless, a terrific reporter; she never stops and she is quite attractive."

Journalist Logan before CBS:

From 1992-96, Logan worked as senior producer for Reuters TV in Africa. From 1996-99, she freelanced as:

  • Editor in London for CBS News, ABC News
  • Correspondent in Jerusalem for British-based ITN
  • Editor/producer for CBS, NBC, European Broadcast Union
  • CNN correspondent covering US embassy bombings in Nairobi, Tanzania
From 1999-2001, Logan worked for Britain's "Good Morning Television" show. On September 11, 2001, Logan famously pressured a Russian Embassy clerk until she obtained a visa allowing her to fly to the frontline action in Afghanistan. Soon after, Logan rose to prominence for her post-9/11 reporting.

Awards & Accolades:

Logan won an Emmy Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award and an Overseas Press Club Award for her 2006 CBS report, "Ramadi: On the Front Line." Other awards include:
  • 2008 - Radio & TV Correspondents Assn's David Bloom Award for reporting excellence
  • 2007 - Assn. of International Broadcasters' Best International News Story Award for her report on the Taliban
  • 2008, 2003, 2002, 2000 - A coveted Best News Story award each of these years from the American Women in Radio & TV Gracie Awards
  • 2004 - Individual Achievement for a Reporter from the American Women in Radio & TV Gracie Awards

Personal Data:

  • Birth - March 29, 1971 in Durban, South Africa, one of seven children born to businessman Derek Logan and wife Yolanda, both active in the anti-apartheid movement.

  • Education - degree in Commerce and English, 1992, University of Natal, in Durban; diploma in French language, culture and history from Universite de L'Alliance Francaise, in Paris.

  • Family - Married to Joe Burkett, a U.S. State Department defense contractor. Two young children with Burkett. First husband was Jason Siemon, a former European pro-basketball player for the Milton Keynes Lions.
Besides English and French, Logan speaks Afrikaans and Portuguese.

Controversy over Lara Logan's Beauty:

Former British rival Julian Manyon once observed that curvaceous Logan "exploits her God-given advantages with a skill that Mata Hari might envy." In 2001-02, the British press tagged her as "34D Lara," and exhorted her to "Put those Bazookas away."

Commented Logan in 2005, "There isn't a journalist alive who won't admit to you they use every advantage they have," but admits that "other times, being attractive can really hurt you."

In mid-2008, Logan was implicated in a messy divorce scandal involving U.S. Embassy in Baghdad employee Joe Burkett and CNN war reporter Michael Ware.

Growing Up :

Per a Durban newspaper editor, Lara Logan began lobbying to be a reporter when only 12 years old. By age 17, Logan was reporting for two large South African newspapers. Also a swimsuit model during high school, she briefly moved to Paris as an au pair, then to New York as a restaurant hostess, before returning to South Africa to attend college and work for the Durban "Daily News." Even as a teenager, Logan was described as tenacious, pushy and cool under pressure.

Memorable Quotes:

About Reporting the "Good News" in Iraq

"I tell the American commanders all the time: When we can get in our cars and drive to the opening of a store and interview people on camera without fear of being killed, or getting everyone involved with us killed, the good-news stories will be told."

--- Washington Post article, May 18, 2006

About Media Underreporting of the Iraq War

"You watch your friends burn to death in front of you, and we're going to pretend this story doesn't matter anymore because people are tired of hearing about it?"

--- Washington Post article, May 18, 2006

On Being a Woman Foreign Correspondent

"I would say my single greatest achievement is being able to say screw you to all the people who said that a woman like me couldn’t make it in this business."

--- Interview with GOOD magazine, January 2008

"Men play on the military thing, they play on the macho thing, they play on the brotherhood thing. No one accuses them of using gender to their advantage. The fact is that sometimes being a woman can open doors for you, but more often than not it makes things more difficult."

--- The Guardian UK article, May 24, 2002

About South African Apartheid

"You had this sense all the time that just beyond your reach there was the truth. The government protected us from that very, very heavily...

"I believed enough that the world should know what was happening [and] that if people knew what was really happening in South Africa, that would have to make it change. And I think, in the end, that is what happened."

--- Interview with GOOD magazine, January 2008

Said to a Male Reporter

"As a woman, I have lots of advantages you don't have. I can be vulnerable. Usually you don't have to do anything. Men do it to themselves. They feel like they want to protect you."

--- New York Times article, November 23, 2005

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