Bill Kurtis: The Independent Institute

The Power of Independent Thinking

Bill Kurtis
Bill Kurtis

Bill Kurtis (born William Horton Kuretich) is an award-winning American television journalist, producer, narrator, and news anchor, and he is the Founder and President of Kurtis Productions, Ltd. He was also the host of a number of A&E crime and news documentary shows, including Investigative Reports, American Justice, and Cold Case Files. Previously, he anchored The CBS Morning News and CBS Reports, and was the longtime anchor at WBBM-TV, the CBS-owned and -operated TV station in Chicago. Kurtis is currently the scorekeeper/announcer for National Public Radio (NPR)’s news comedy/quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, as well as serving as the host of Through the Decades, a documentary-style news magazine seen on CBS/Weigel Broadcasting's digital multicast network, Decades syndicated subchannel.

Kurtis has narrated nearly 1,000 documentaries, and Kurtis Productions has produced nearly 500 for series like The New Explorers on PBS; Investigative Reports andCold Case Files for the A&E Television Network; and Investigating History for the History Channel. He also hosted American Justice, produced by Towers Productions. For CNBC, the company has produced nearly 100 episodes of American Greed.

Kurtis has received two Peabody Awards, numerous Emmy Awards, awards from the Overseas Press Club, and a duPont and has been inducted into the Illinois and Kansas Halls of Fame. In 1998, he was awarded the University of Kansas William Allen White citation.

He is the narrator of a multimedia book by Joe Garner, We Interrupt This Broadcast, with a foreword by Walter Cronkite and epilogue by Brian Williams. Kurtis has authored three books, On Assignment (1984), The Death Penalty on Trial (2004), and Prairie Table Cookbook (2008).

In 2005, Kurtis founded Tallgrass Beef Company, which raises and distributes grass-fed, hormone-free organic beef. Some of the beef sold comes from cattle raised on Kurtis's ranch in Sedan, Kansas. In addition, Kurtis and his sister, Jean Schodorf, inherited the historic site of The Little House on the Prairie as designated by the State of Kansas. It is now a not-for-profit museum with their grandmother’s one-room schoolhouse, a tiny post office from Wayside, Kansas, a homesteader’s farmhouse, and attendant farm buildings.