Pioneer. Legendary. Unparalleled.
These are a few words that have been used to describe Ann Compton, the first woman assigned to cover the White House on network television culminating in 41 years on the air for ABC News. This April, she will help us tell the story of senior living as a moderator for several mainstage panels and sessions at the 2019 Senior Living Executive Conference.
Compton’s career at ABC News spanned seven presidents and 10 presidential campaigns. As the first woman assigned to cover the White House on network television and with 41 years on the air for ABC News, her longevity and impact are unparalleled. After retiring from daily coverage in 2014, Compton reignited her legendary career by returning to ABC to cover the 2016 political conventions, as well as accepting a fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government focusing on media coverage of the 2016 election. She now combines her personal experiences on the White House beat with fresh scholarship from the prestigious Miller Center for presidential studies in Virginia.
Compton was traveling with President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001, and was the only broadcast reporter to remain on Air Force One to report on behalf of all the press during the chaotic hours following the terrorist attacks, when the President was unable to return directly to Washington. For that coverage, which she considers the most significant story of her career, Compton received special recognition in the awards bestowed on ABC’s coverage, including an Emmy, a Peabody, and the Silver Baton from the DuPont awards at Columbia University.
Her colleagues elected Compton as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association for 2007- 2008. She was chairman of the Radio-Television Correspondents’ Association on Capitol Hill in 1987- 1988. The Commission on Presidential Debates selected Compton to serve as a debate panelist in 1988 and 1992. Additionally, she has been inducted into six halls of fame and has received five honorary university degrees.