2019 Great Immigrants Recipient

Wolf Blitzer
Lead Political Anchor and Host, "The Situation Room," CNN
Born in:

One of the country’s best-known broadcast journalists, Wolf Blitzer was born to Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors. His parents met on a train after the end of World War II while searching for surviving relatives. Married by a U.S. military chaplain, the couple moved to Augsburg, Germany, where Blitzer was born. Following the passage of the 1948 Displaced Persons Act, which eased entry into the United States for those persecuted by the Nazis, his family settled in Buffalo, New York. Blitzer began his journalism career at the Tel Aviv bureau of Reuters and later moved to the Jerusalem Post, where he made international headlines with his 1986 interview with Jonathan Pollard, an American later convicted of spying for Israel. Joining CNN as a military affairs correspondent at the Pentagon in 1990, Blitzer covered the White House and eventually became the network’s lead political anchor and host of The Situation Room. Blitzer has reported from Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, North Korea, and Russia; interviewed numerous heads of state; moderated both the Democratic and Republican 2016 presidential primary debates; and has been on CNN teams whose coverage has earned Emmy, Peabody, and Edward R. Murrow awards. Blitzer has invoked his family’s experience when sharing his support for U.S. resettlement of refugees fleeing today’s conflicts, saying, “I strongly believe in refugee resettlement. This country welcomed my parents.… They were so grateful to this country and went on to become great American patriots.”