Hal Bruno

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Harold Robinson "Hal" Bruno, Jr. (October 25, 1928 November 8, 2011) was an American journalist and political analyst, who worked as the political director of ABC News from 1980 to 1999. He served as the moderator of the 1992 vice presidential debate between Dan Quayle, Al Gore, and James Stockdale. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Journalist person who collects, writes and distributes news and other information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

ABC News News division of the American Broadcasting Company

ABC News is the news division of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), owned by the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. Its flagship program is the daily evening newscast ABC World News Tonight with David Muir; other programs include morning news-talk show Good Morning America, Nightline, Primetime, and 20/20, and Sunday morning political affairs program This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Dan Quayle 44th vice president of the United States

James Danforth Quayle is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 44th vice president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Quayle was also a U.S. representative from 1977 to 1981 and was a U.S. senator from 1981 to 1989 for the state of Indiana.



Early life

Hal Bruno was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 25, 1928. [2] His father sold housewares for a living. [2] He became a volunteer firefighter during the 1940s. [2] Bruno earned his bachelor's degree in 1950 from the University of Illinois, where he worked as a sportswriter for the university's newspaper, The Daily Illini , alongside Shel Silverstein, Bud Karmin, Gene Shalit, Hugh Hough and Robert Novak. [1] [2] [3] He also worked for the Champaign News Gazette during weekends while in college. [4]

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Volunteer fire department fire department composed of volunteers

A volunteer fire department (VFD) is a fire department composed of volunteers who perform fire suppression and other related emergency services for a local jurisdiction. Volunteer and retained firefighters are expected to be on call to respond to emergency calls for long periods of time, and are summoned to the fire station when their services are needed. They are also expected to attend other non-emergency duties as well.

A bachelor's degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years. In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate degrees after a first degree has been completed. In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework, although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees.

He served in the Korean War as an Army intelligence officer. [1] Bruno then earned a Fulbright scholarship to study in India after the war. [2] He married his wife, Margaret "Meg" Christian Bruno, on November 12, 1959. [2] [3]

Korean War 1950–1953 war between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.


Bruno launched his professional career as a reporter for Chicago area newspapers and news agencies. His first job after his graduation was for Advertising Age before becoming the sports editor of the Daily Chronicle . [4] He temporarily left his profession in order to serve in the Korean War. [4] Bruno returned to Chicago after the war and joined the staff of the Chicago City News Bureau as a police reporter. [4] He joined The Chicago American in 1954 [4] In 1956, Bruno earned a Fulbright Scholarship in India to study Indian media. [4] He worked as a South Asian correspondent for the International News Service while in India. [4] Bruno covered some of the biggest news stories of the 1950s, including the 1956 Suez Crisis, the Our Lady of the Angels School fire in 1958, and the Cuban revolution in 1959. [2]

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

The Daily Chronicle is a newspaper which covers DeKalb County in northern Illinois. Its newsroom and press are located in DeKalb, Illinois, a city about 60 miles west of Chicago along Interstate 88. The paper has a daily circulation of 19,968 and a Sunday circulation of 20,719, as of September 30, 2006. It was formerly owned by Scripps League Newspapers, which was acquired by Pulitzer in 1996; Lee Enterprises acquired Pulitzer in 2005. Shaw Newspapers of Dixon, Illinois acquired the newspaper in late 2007.

Suez Crisis diplomatic and military confrontation in late 1956 involving Egypt, Britain, France and Israel

The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli War, also named the Tripartite Aggression in the Arab world and Operation Kadesh or Sinai War in Israel, was an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France. The aims were to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just nationalized the canal. After the fighting had started, political pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Nations led to a withdrawal by the three invaders. The episode humiliated the United Kingdom and France and strengthened Nasser.

He joined the staff of Newsweek magazine in 1960. [2] Bruno worked as a reporter, foreign correspondent, news editor and chief political correspondent for Newsweek for 18 years. [1] [3] One of his first assignments at the magazine was the 1960 president election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. [1] His foreign reports included the 1962 Sino-Indian War. [4] He rose to become Newsweek's Chicago bureau chief and later the magazine's political editor in Washington D.C. [2]

Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine founded in 1933.

1960 United States presidential election 44th election of President of the United States

The 1960 United States presidential election was the 44th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 8, 1960. In a closely contested election, Democrat John F. Kennedy defeated incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican Party nominee. This was the first election in which all fifty states participated, and the last in which the District of Columbia did not. It was also the first election in which an incumbent president was ineligible to run for a third term due to the term limits established by the 22nd Amendment. To date, it is the last election in which neither major party candidate had ever been President, but each was eventually elected President.

John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.

ABC News

Bruno joined ABC News in 1978 after leaving Newsweek. [1] [2] He oversaw ABC News' election and political coverage during the 1980s and 1990s. [1] Ken Rudin, the current political editor of NPR who worked as Bruno's deputy at ABC News, described Bruno as "...the eyes and ears for Peter (Jennings) and 'World News Tonight' and (Ted) Koppel." [1] As political director, Bruno packaged much of the political headlines presented by ABC's best known reporters, including Ted Koppel, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, and Peter Jennings. [2] Colleagues, such as Donaldson, have described Bruno as personally knowing nearly every major party county chairman in the United States. [2]

NPR non-profit membership media organization

National Public Radio is an American privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization based in Washington, D.C. NPR differs from other non-profit membership media organizations, such as AP, in that it was established by an act of Congress and most of its member stations are owned by government entities. It serves as a national syndicator to a network of over 1,000 public radio stations in the United States.

Peter Jennings Canadian-American broadcast journalist

Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings was a Canadian-American journalist who served as the sole anchor of ABC World News Tonight from 1983 until his death from lung cancer in 2005. Despite dropping out of high school, he transformed himself into one of American television's most prominent journalists.

Ted Koppel television journalist

Edward James Martin Koppel is a British-born American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor for Nightline, from the program's inception in 1980 until 2005.

While much of his work at ABC took place off-screen, Bruno was invited onto news and talk shows owing to his political expertise. [2] Bruno also hosted the weekly radio show, Hal Bruno's Washington, on ABC Radio until 1999. [1] [5]

Bruno received public attention as the moderator of the 1992 vice presidential debate in Atlanta on October 13, 1992. [1] [2] [3] The debate took place between incumbent Republican Vice President Dan Quayle, Democrat Al Gore, and Independent retired Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, who was the running mate of Ross Perot. [3] The debate would become known for unusual responses and negative rhetoric from the candidates and the audience. [2] It would later be called "the most combative debate in the 32-year history of the televised forums" by the Washington Post . [2] One of the most memorable moments from the debate came early in the night. Bruno, in his capacity as debate moderator, asked James Stockdale, "Admiral Stockdale, your opening statement, please, sir?" [3] Stockdale famously replied to Bruno's request: "Who am I? Why am I here?" [2] [3]

Bruno also scolded the debate's audience when they jeered candidates Quayle and Gore, saying, "There’s no call for that ... so knock that off." [2]

He retired from ABC in 1999 to become the chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. [4] [5]


Bruno said that his interest in firefighting began "after riding as a kid on fire trucks in Chicago." [4] Bruno originally became a volunteer firefighter during the 1940s and remained in firefighting for more than 60 years. [4] He served as the chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation from 1999 to 2008 [5] and remained Chairman Emeritus after retiring from the post. [4] He combined his background in journalism and firefighting as a monthly columnist for Firehouse Magazine. [3]

Bruno called in coverage of the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. [3] He was one of the first rescue workers to respond to the Pentagon attack and remained on site for hours. [2]

Later life

Bruno was inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists Hall of Fame in 2008. [3]

Bruno died at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, November 8, 2011, of heart arrhythmia caused by a fall at the age of 83. [1] [2] He was survived by his wife of nearly 56 years, Margaret; two sons, Harold R. Bruno III and Daniel Bruno; his sister, Barbara; and four grandchildren. Bruno and his wife were residents of Chevy Chase, Maryland. [3]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Hal Bruno dies at 83, Was ABC political director for two decades". Variety . 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Schudel, Matt (2011-11-10). "Hal Bruno, former ABC News political director, dies at 83". Washington Post . Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Weber, Bruce (2011-11-09). "Hal Bruno, Director of Election Coverage at ABC, Dies at 83". New York Times . Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Wolf, Z. Byron (2011-11-09). "Hal Bruno of ABC News Dies at 83". ABC News . Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  5. 1 2 3 "Former ABC News political director dies at 83". Bloomberg Businessweek . 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2011-12-07.