Television journalist Elizabeth Vargas is the first woman of Puerto Rican heritage to be named co-anchor of ABC’s nightly newscast World News Tonight and anchor of television newsmagazine 20/20. As an award-winning anchor and correspondent, Elizabeth Vargas has traveled the world covering breaking news stories, reporting in-depth investigations and conducting newsmaker interviews.
Elizabeth Vargas recently anchored for both “World News Tonight” and “20/20” from the Gulf region, covering Hurricane Katrina’s devastation; traveled to Beslan, Russia, to cover the terrorist attack and found stories of hope after rebels attacked a school and killed more than 300 people, more than half of them children; reported from the Middle East including on the standoff at Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah and for a special on the resurrection of Jesus; and reported from Cambodia on the plight of orphans for sale.
Elizabeth Vargas anchored ABC News coverage of live, breaking news stories including the deaths of President Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy Jr. and the 2003 blackout. Vargas won an Emmy in 2000 for Outstanding Instant Coverage of a News Story for anchoring live coverage of the Elian Gonzales case. Her primetime reporting on the death of Matthew Shepard and an investigation examining the disappearances of several young women in northern California and why their stories failed to attract the significant media attention Laci Peterson won critical acclaim.
Elizabeth Vargas was born in Patterson, New Jersey, where her parents spent about a year while her father studied for an MBA. English is her first language, though she now speaks fluent Spanish. In high school, she decided on journalism. At the University of Missouri, she settled on broadcasting after a stint as reporter/anchor for KOMU-TV. Elizabeth Vargas spent a year at KTVN-TV, the CBS affiliate in Reno, moved on to KTVK-TV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, then WBBM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, before moving on the NBC News.