- Elizabeth Vargas
image_size = 150px
name = Elizabeth Vargas
birth_date = Birth date and age|1962|9|6|mf=y
Paterson, New Jersey
Elizabeth Vargas (born September 6, 1962 in
Paterson, New Jersey) is a television journalist, currently co-anchor of ABC's television newsmagazine 20/20and anchor of ABC NewsSpecials.
Vargas was born to a Puerto Rican father, who was a
Colonelin the U.S. Armyand an Irish-Americanmother. She spent her youth moving from base to base in Germany, Belgiumand Japan.
Vargas graduated with a
Bachelor's Degreein journalismfrom the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she made her debut broadcast as a reporter/ anchorfor KOMU-TV.
She spent four years as a reporter and anchor for
WBBM-TV. Phyllis McGrady, a senior vice president at ABC, said of her: "Elizabeth is one of the most flexible talents I've ever worked with. She could do interviews, and do hour-long specials that make you think, and then she'll do a great interview with P. Diddy. She is versatile."
Vargas is the first woman to anchor an evening newscast in the U.S. since
Connie Chung, and the first woman of Puerto Rican and Irish American heritage to be named a network nightly news anchor. She is said to be particularly proud of an ABC special report in which she questioned why the Laci Petersoncase merited more attention than two other similar cases, one involving a black woman and the other involving a Hispanicwoman. Another story she did, based on the book " The Da Vinci Code" and the role of Mary Magdalene, helped fuel a nationwide religious debate. Vargas stated that for centuries Mary Magdalene has been portrayed as a prostituteby the church, despite evidence to the contrary. She went on to question the strictly limited role of women within the church. In 1999, she won an Emmy Awardfor her coverage of the Elián Gonzálezstory and in 1998, she was nominated for an Emmy Awardfor her 20/20 investigation into the wrongful conviction of Betty Tyson.
Peter Jenningswas receiving chemotherapyfor his lung cancerin April 2005, she and Charles Gibsontemporarily filled in for him on World News Tonight until his death in August. After a period of mourning and indecision, she and Bob Woodruffwere chosen as co-anchors on December 5, 2005.
Katie Couricbeing the first woman named to anchor an evening newscast solo, Vargas can be considered the first de factosolo woman evening news anchor given that, after Bob Woodruff's injury, she anchored almost every broadcast alone (although there was a brief period after Woodruff's injury where Vargas co-anchored "WNT" with either Charles Gibson or Diane Sawyer) during her short tenure as "co-anchor" of "WNT".
May 23 2006, Vargas announced her resignation from "WNT". Gibson was then named sole anchor of the show, effective from May 29, 2006, replacing Vargas and her injured co-anchor Bob Woodruff. [ [http://www.abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=1993658&page=1 ABC News: Charles Gibson Named Sole Anchor of 'World News Tonight' ] ] To explain the sudden change, Vargas cited her doctors' recommendation to cut back her schedule considerably due to a difficult pregnancy and her wish to spend more time with her new baby when he arrives. Most "inside accounts", however, claimed she fully expected and wished to return to the anchor chair soon after giving birth, but Gibson threatened to quit the network if he wasn't made sole permanent anchor. [http://newyorkmetro.com/news/media/17255/index.html "Charlie the Conqueror"] . New York Magazine, June 19, 2006.] According to these sources, his succeeded and she was left embittered, although not enough to sever ties with the network. In late 2006, Vargas returned as co-anchor of 20/20and primary presenter of ABC News specials.
Elizabeth Vargas is married to
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, whom she met at the 1999U.S. Open after being introduced by Andre Agassi. The couple have two children, Zachary Raphael Cohn, born January 31, 2003, and Samuel Wyatt Cohn, born August 16, 2006. [ [http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2321324 ABC News: 20/20's Elizabeth Vargas Has Baby Boy ] ] Vargas also has two stepchildren, Max and Emily, from Cohn's previous marriage.
List of famous Puerto Ricans
List of Irish-Americans
* [http://usliberals.about.com/od/thepressandjournalist1/p/EVargas.htm About.com Profile of Elizabeth Vargas, ABC News Journalist]
* [http://abcnews.go.com/2020/WNT/story?id=130792&WNT=true ABC News bio]
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