• Biography

Martha Rountree was an American journalist and television producer who is best known for creating and hosting the long-running television show Meet the Press. She was born in Norfolk, Virginia on October 15, 1918. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a degree in journalism.

Early Career

Rountree began her career in journalism in the 1940s, working as a reporter for the Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch. She then moved to Washington, D.C. and worked as a reporter for the Washington Daily News. In 1945, she joined the staff of the Washington bureau of NBC News, where she worked as a reporter and producer.

Meet the Press

In 1947, Rountree created and hosted the first episode of Meet the Press, which was the first regularly scheduled television news program in the United States. The show quickly became a hit and was broadcast nationally. Rountree served as the show's host and executive producer until 1975. During her tenure, she interviewed a wide range of prominent political figures, including presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon.


Rountree's work on Meet the Press earned her numerous awards and accolades. In 1971, she was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. She was also the first woman to receive the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in broadcast journalism.

Rountree retired from Meet the Press in 1975 and passed away in 1991. She is remembered as a pioneering figure in television journalism and a trailblazer for women in the field. Her legacy lives on in the show she created, which continues to be broadcast to this day.

Date modified: Apr 3, 2023
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