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Author, CBS commentator Bill
Geist to be commencement speaker at Illinois
News Bureau 217-333-1085
photo to enlarge
by Craig Blankenhorn,
©2002 CBS Worldwide Inc.
News correspondent – and Champaign native –
Bill Geist will speak at both commencement ceremonies
May 15 at Illinois.
Ill. — Bill Geist, an Emmy Award-winning correspondent and commentator
for CBS News, will be the speaker at the 134rd commencement of the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 15 at the Assembly Hall, 1800
S. First St., Champaign. He will speak at the 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Geist, a U. of I. alumnus and Champaign native, has been a contributor
to “CBS Sunday Morning,” “60 Minutes,” the “Evening
News” and other news programs. He also has been a commentator
for numerous CBS Sports productions including the Olympic Games, the
Superbowl, the World Series and the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball
Prior to joining CBS News, Geist was a reporter and columnist for The
New York Times from 1980 to 1987, writing the “About New York”
column. Before that, he was a reporter and columnist for the Chicago
Tribune from 1972-1980. Geist served as a combat photographer with the
First Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1969.
Geist is the best-selling author of six books, including “The
Big Five-Oh! – Fearing, Facing, and Fighting 50”; “Monster
Trucks and Hair-in-a-Can – Who Says America Doesn’t Make
Anything Anymore?”; “Little League Confidential”;
“City Slickers”; and “The Zucchini Plague and Other
Tales of Suburbia.” He has contributed articles to dozens of magazines,
including Chicago, Esquire, Forbes, New York, Rolling Stone and Vogue.
Geist earned a master’s degree in communications from the University
of Missouri in 1971. He met his wife, Jody, at Illinois. They married
in 1970, have two children, Willie and Libby, and reside in New York
Geist has won numerous awards for his work, but seems most proud of
finishing a close third in the Illinois State Fair Bake-Off.