CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR Biography - People in the News and Media


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Name: Christiane Amanpour                                                                 
Born: 12 January  1958                                                                     
Christiane Amanpour, CBE, (born January 12, 1958) is                                       
the chief international correspondent for CNN.                                             
Shortly after her birth in London, her father Mohammad, an Iranian airline                 
executive, and her British mother Patricia, moved the family to Tehran. The               
Amanpours led a privileged life under the government of the Shah of Iran.                 
At age 11, she returned to England to attend first the Holy Cross Convent School           
in Buckinghamshire, England, and then the New Hall School, an exclusive Roman             
Catholic girls' school. Her family had to flee Iran after the Islamic Revolution           
of 1979.                                                                                   
Amanpour moved to the United States to study journalism at the University of               
Rhode Island. During her time at U.R.I. she worked in the News Department at               
WBRU-FM Providence. One of her college housemates was John F Kennedy Jr, who was           
attending Brown University; they remained close friends until his death in 1999.           
Amanpour graduated from URI Summa Cum Laude, with a B.A. in journalism, in 1983.           
After graduation in 1983, she worked for NBC affiliate WJAR in Providence, Rhode           
Island as an electronic graphics designer. In 1983, she was hired by CNN. In               
1989, she was posted to Frankfurt, Germany, where she reported on the democratic           
revolutions sweeping Eastern Europe at the time.                                           
It was her coverage of the Persian Gulf War that followed Iraq's occupation of             
Kuwait in 1990 that made her famous, while also taking the network to a new               
level of news coverage. Thereafter, she reported from the Bosnian war and many             
other conflict zones. Her emotional delivery from Sarajevo during the Siege of             
Sarajevo led some viewers and critics to question her professional objectivity,           
claiming that many of her reports were unjustified and in favour towards the               
Bosnians, to which she replied, "There are some situations one simply cannot be           
neutral about, because when you are neutral you are an accomplice. Objectivity             
doesn't mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing."             
From 1996-2005, she contracted with CBS to file four to five in-depth,                     
international news reports a year as a special contributor on that network's               
newsmagazine program, 60 Minutes. These reports garnered a Peabody Award in 1998,         
adding to the Peabody she was awarded in 1993.                                             
Based out of CNN's London bureau, Amanpour is one of the most recognized                   
international correspondents on American television. Her willingness to work in           
dangerous conflict zones has reportedly made her one of the more highly (if not           
the highest) paid field reporters in the world. She speaks English, Persian, and           
French fluently.                                                                           
She has had many memorable moments in her career, one of them being a telephone           
interview with Yasser Arafat during the siege on his compound in March 2002,               
during which Chairman Arafat hung up on her. Another was landing the first                 
and only post-election interview of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a             
Western journalist in 2005, despite some trepidation that this strident disciple           
of the now deceased Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini would raise the issue of the               
Amanpour family's ties to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was deposed by a                 
revolution led by Khomeini with Ahmadinejad's active involvement. The interview           
proved this concern to be unwarranted.                                                     
She sat down with North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Kim Kye Gwan on                   
February 26, 2008 after the New York Philharmonic visit to North Korea.