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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

11-01-06

Contacts:

Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center for Women and Politics, (515) 294-4185, (515) 451-5084 (c), dbystrom@iastate.edu

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

ABC correspondent Lynn Sherr is fall Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics

AMES, Iowa -- Lynn Sherr, who has been a correspondent with the ABC Newsmagazine "20/20" since May 1986, will be the fall 2006 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics at Iowa State University.

Sherr will deliver a presentation titled "Outside the Box: Women, Politics and Media" at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Sun Room, Memorial Union. The event is free and open to the public.

"As the first woman to anchor a primetime television network news series, Lynn Sherr has broken many gender barriers in her profession and, through her reporting, has opened new career paths for young women in many professions," said Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. "She also has considerable experience covering politics and analyzing election outcomes. We look forward to hearing about her experiences as a woman journalist and author as well as her analysis of the 2006 mid-term election."

Sherr has covered a wide range of stories, specializing in women's issues and social change, as well as investigative reports. Her contributions to "20/20" include an award-winning report on the story of a homeless girl in New York who earned a scholarship to Harvard; a pioneering report on a treatment for anorexia; and a series on women who alter their bodies in the name of beauty. In 2000, she reported on midnight in Bombay, India, for the ABC News Millennium Special, which received numerous awards. Her awards also include an Emmy, two American Women in Radio and Television Commendation awards, and a George Foster Peabody Award.

Prior to her assignment at "20/20," Sherr was a national correspondent for ABC News, where she was also part of the network's political team. She served as a floor reporter for every Republican and Democratic nominating convention starting in 1978, and regularly analyzed the results of the exit polls on election nights. In 1984, she also covered the presidential primary campaign of Senator John Glenn and the vice presidential campaign of Geraldine Ferraro.

Sherr also reported on the NASA space shuttle program from its inception in 1981 through the Challenger explosion in 1986 -- anchoring almost every mission from launch to landing. During the investigation into the Challenger accident, she obtained the only interview with astronaut Sally Ride. She was also chosen as a semifinalist in the Journalist-in-Space program, which was later abandoned.

Before coming to ABC, Sherr was a reporter for WNET-TV in New York and WETA-TV in Washington, D.C. -- both public television stations. Prior to that, she reported for WCBS-TV and The Associated Press -- both in New York -- and Cond Nast Publications.

She is the author of "Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words," co-author of "Susan B. Anthony Slept Here: A Guide to American Women's Landmarks," and 10 editions of "The Women's Calendar." Her bestselling book, "Tall Blondes," offered a critically-acclaimed look at giraffes, and was also the subject of a one-hour documentary for the PBS "Nature" program. Her bestselling book, "America the Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind Our Nation's Favorite Song," came out in 2001. Her newest work, "Outside the Box," a memoir, was published last September.

Sherr is the 15th prominent woman leader to visit Iowa State as the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics. The chair was created in 1995 to honor Smith, an Iowa native and longtime political and civic leader. It brings nationally renowned political leaders, scholars and activists to Iowa State. Smith was the only woman to chair the Republican National Party (1974-1977).

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LynnSherr

Lynn Sherr

Quick look

ABC Newsmagazine "20/20" correspondent Lynn Sherr will be the fall 2006 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics at Iowa State University. She will deliver a presentation titled "Outside the Box: Women, Politics and Media" at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Sun Room, Memorial Union. The event is free and open to the public

Quote

"As the first woman to anchor a primetime television network news series, Lynn Sherr has broken many gender barriers in her profession and, through her reporting, has opened new career paths for young women in many professions. She also has considerable experience covering politics and analyzing election outcomes. We look forward to hearing about her experiences as a woman journalist and author as well as her analysis of the 2006 mid-term election."

Dianne Bystrom