Randall Pinkston


  • Wesleyan University
  • Millsaps College
  • University of Connecticut

Randall Pinkston was born in Yazoo County, Mississippi and grew up in Jackson. After graduating from Lanier High School, he attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut in pursuit of a law degree before returning home to complete his course work at Millsaps College. While in Jackson, he began his career at WLBT as an anchor and reporter. From 1974 until 1976, Pinkston moved to Jacksonville, Florida to work as an urban affairs director, reporter, and program producer for WJXT-TV. He later returned to Connecticut to attend UCONN and received his Juris Doctorate in 1980.

After completing school, Pinkston spent the next decade as a news correspondent at WCBS-TV in New York. In 1990, Pinkston joined CBS News as its White House correspondent. He spent two years covering President George H. W. Bush, including breaking the news in January 1992 of the president falling ill while dining with Japan's prime minister, Kiichi Miyazawa. From 1992 until 1994, Pinkston remained in CBS' Washington bureau. In 1994, Pinkston was moved to CBS' New York bureau. Pinkston covered many of the major stories of the past three decades, including the Kosovo conflict; the crisis in Haiti; the war in Afghanistan; the war in Iraq; earthquakes in Turkey, Italy, and Chile; Tiger Woods’ return to the Augusta National Golf Club Masters Tournament; the final launch of NASA’s shuttle, Discovery, from the Kennedy Space Center; and the election of Pope Francis. He also contributed to CBS’s “Sunday Morning” and “48 Hours”. Pinkston retired from CBS in 2013 and joined Al Jazeera America as a freelance journalist until the media network shut down in 2016.

Pinkston is a former adjunct professor at City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, Stony Brook University School of Journalism, and the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism. He is currently a lecturer at the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication. Pinkston is the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2008 Public Service Award for coverage of the AIDS crisis among African Americans. He also received 4 Emmy Awards, an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award, a Society of Professional Journalists Community Service Award, a Silver Em Award from the University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism, and a number of honorary degrees from prestigious institutions.

Pinkston and his wife, Patricia McLain, live in Teaneck, New Jersey, in Bergen County.


Sources: Wikipedia, MS Free Press