Published on March 8, 2011 by Casey
Hattie Kauffman became known to millions of Americans in the late 20th century as a national correspondent for the Columbia Broadcasting System and as a feature reporter for the American Broadcasting Company’s Good Morning America. For her earlier television news reporting at KING-TV in Seattle, Kauffman, who is of German and Nez Perce ancestry, won four Emmy awards.
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Kauffman was born on a Nez Perce Reservation. She earned a BS degree at the University of Minnesota. She then attended the Graduate School of Journalism there on a WCCO-TV Minorities in Broadcasting Scholarship. She began to broadcast on radio while a student in Minneapolis. Kauffman became the first Native American journalist to report on a national broadcast in 1989 while working at KING-TV in Seattle. She was a reporter and anchor at KING-TV Seattle (1981-87).
Between 1987 and 1990, Kauffman was a special correspondent for Good Morning America. In 1990, she was a consumer-affairs reporter for CBS News, a job that took her from a Hawaiian leper colony to interview deep-sea hunters of sunken treasure, and to a woman’s shooting range. Kauffman early in her network career was a frequent substitute on CBS This Morning, and she reported regularly for CBS 48 Hours and Street Stories. She then became a regular correspondent for CBS This Morning between 1990 and 1999. In 2007, Kauffman was a veteran national news correspondent for The Early Show, based in Los Angeles, a job she began in 1999.
Kauffman covered breaking news, celebrity profiles, and features about ordinary people. She covered the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the saga of Elian Gonzales, the child who was returned to Cuba after an international incident. In 2007, she covered wildfires that ravaged southern California. Kauffrnan also has reported on unique (and physically challenging) vacation ideas, such as rock climbing, Whitewater rafting, and race-car driving, scuba diving (with dolphins), ski jumping and luge riding at Lake Placid, New York, as well as rodeo riding.
Kauffrnan has been described as having a unique style of reporting human interest stories that has earned her acclaim throughout her career (Hattie Kauffrnan, 2007).