Joan Richman, a St. Louis native, received her B.A. from Wellesley College in English. Almost immediately after graduation, Richman joined CBS News as a newspaper clipper in the research department. Within two years, she was promoted to senior researcher in that department.
In 1965, she was assigned to CBS News’ special events unit research team. By 1972, through hard work and quick wit, Richman had worked her way up to producer of special events and received two Emmy Awards: the first in 1971 for her coverage of the manned space missions Apollo 13 and 14, the second in 1972 for her reporting on the Apollo 15 launch and mission.
After producing CBS Sports Spectacular and ABC News’ The Reasoner Report for a short time, Richman was named the executive producer of the Saturday and Sunday editions of CBS Evening News. In 1981, Richman became the CBS News vice president and director of special events. Throughout her carrier, she was responsible for coverage on a wide variety of topics, from political elections to the Beirut bombings in 1983 to the funerals of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Walter Cronkite, with whom Richman worked closely, describes her as “a rarity in the highly charged realm of television news special production,” and later said that she was “probably more important than any other individual in shaping the presentation of a new science that gripped the world’s imagination.”
After transitioning into retirement, Richman traveled extensively, taught a course on the press and politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School, spent time with her sister, Judith Richman Saidel ’64, volunteered at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and enjoyed time at her country home.
Joan Richman died in April 2004 at the age of 64.
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