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Mulholland, Robert E., 1933-2021



  • Existence: 1933 - 2021


Robert E. “Bob” Mulholland was born on September 27, 1933 in Hartford, Connecticut. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University in 1955 and continued there to earn his Master of Science the following year. He went on to serve in the United States Army as a Pacific Stars and Stripes reporter in Korea between 1956 and 1958.

Mulholland's professional life was devoted to broadcasting, most of it in broadcast news, and most of it with NBC. He joined NBC in 1961 as a news writer in the network’s Chicago station. During his time in Chicago at NBC, his discussion with an NBC cameraman detailing a conversation he had overheard regarding David Ferrie, hypnotist and CIA operative, contributed to the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The information he repeated was recorded in the Warren Report, though Mulholland has stated that the report misquotes him.

Following this, he worked in the NBC London bureau, was the Washington producer for The Huntley-Brinkley Report, was the news director at KNBC, the NBC-owned station in Los Angeles, was executive producer of NBC Nightly News with John Chancellor, and was executive vice-president of NBC News.

When NBC won the rights to broadcast the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Mulholland left NBC News and joined NBC Sports to begin the four-year planning process for Olympic television coverage. Midway through that assignment he was named president of the NBC Television Network, a job he held for five years before being named president and chief operating officer of NBC Inc. He won numerous awards for his broadcast journalism including four Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mulholland is credited with starting the trend to long-form local television news in the United States. While at KNBC in Los Angeles, he originated the country’s first two-hour locally produced daily news program, which later became commonplace, especially in the local news for larger cities. After his exit from NBC, Mulholland undertook extensive televised overseas speaking engagements for the United States government in Europe, South America, and Asia.

Mulholland joined the faculty of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism as the head of broadcast news programs in September 1988. He was a fellow of the Annenberg Washington Program on Communication Policy Studies.

He retired in 1993, and was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement in 1997.

Mulholland died on March 9, 2021 in Naples, Florida.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Robert E. “Bob” Mulholland (1933-2021) Papers

Identifier: 31/6/217

The Robert E. “Bob” Mulholland Papers (1933-2021) spans 1950-2016 and contains four boxes of biographical and career materials documenting Mulholland’s service as a reporter in the Korean War and his broadcast news career, including his tenure as president of NBC. Select materials also cover his early reporting as a recent graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and his later return as faculty to his alma mater.

Dates: 1950 - 2016