Katie Couric Reveals The Interviews That Stand Out The Most

After decades in the news business covering it all and interviewing celebrity after celebrity, as well as politicians and world leaders, Katie Couric has seen it all and learned it all during her career. She cut her teeth at NBC News as a Pentagon reporter during the first invasion of Iraq and was eventually promoted to co-host of the "Today" show, with Americans waking to her face and soothing voice for 15 years.

When Couric left NBC in 2006, she headed right over to rival network CBS to anchor "The CBS Evening News," where she worked for five years before trying her hand at new media and technology projects (via Biography). In October 2021, Couric went back to telling stories the old-fashioned way when she released her no-holds-barred memoir, "Going There," in which she reveals intimate details of her life as well as stories of those she has interviewed (via NPR). 

But, even before that, in 2018, Couric was reflecting on her career and the iconic people she had talked to through the years.

Katie Couric and the women of the Supreme Court

In 2018, Katie Couric told People about the moments she got to sit down with three women who have sat on the nation's highest court. Couric interviewed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2014 and 2016 and gave her a collar for her robe. "I brought Justice Ginsburg a jabot [collar] I'd ordered from Italy because she's famous for having an array of them," she recalled.

Couric also knew how lucky she was when sat down with retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as well as current Justice Sonia Sotomayor. 

"Justice O'Connor and I ate lunch in her chambers — I couldn't believe I was there," Couric said. "What's most interesting about all of them is what were the influences that led them down this path — they all come from pretty humble beginnings, whether it's a cattle ranch in Arizona for Sandra Day O'Connor or Sonia Sotomayor from the Puerto Rican communities in the Bronx. I always want to know what shaped them."

Katie Couric interviewed even more influential women

In the 1990s, the world was riveted by the Senate testimony of Anita Hill, the woman who accused Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment (via History.com). In 1992, Couric interviewed her when her name was still fresh in American minds. 

"I did one of the first interviews with Anita Hill and was so impressed that she came forward and testified on Capitol Hill," Couric said. "She has been such an important voice for women."

Couric also recalls with fondness when she talked with Ann Richards, the governor of Texas from 1990 to 1994, who lost her re-election bid to George W. Bush (via Biography). 

"She taught me the importance of being tough and thick-skinned," Couric told People. "I think many of the people I've interviewed exemplified those qualities — of being persistent, tenacious and resilient. I tried to learn through osmosis."

In 2010, Americans were shaken by a shooting in an Arizona shopping center that left Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in the hospital fighting for her life when a bullet struck her in the head. Giffords, the wife of current Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, was able to make a recovery, but it was a long road, and she still has neurological difficulties as she leads the fight against gun violence.

When Couric interviewed her, she was inspired. "She has shown such grit and grace," she told People. "Her commitment to changing our country is just awe-inducing to me."

Katie Couric recalls more fantastic females

Katie Couric also had memorable interviews with pioneering women in the entertainment world, including the late Mary Tyler Moore, someone who made people laugh in television and movies from the 1960s until her 2017 death.

"I was raised on shows that really focus on women as housewives — to have someone like Mary Tyler Moore come along completely expanded my ideas about who I could become," she told People. "I'd watch every Saturday night in my friend's basement and saw what the possibilities were. Interviewing her really made things come full circle."

Speaking of full circle, Couric ended her "Today" run with an ordinary woman who did an extraordinary thing. Oral Lee Brown was a teacher who gave birth to the Oral Lee Brown Foundation after making an offer to her 1987 first grade class. If they stayed in school through high school, she would pay for their college. She made good on that promise, and her foundation still offers educational opportunities today. In 2006, Couric interviewed her and was proud to tell her incredible story.

"Back in 1987 she promised every kid in her first-grade class that she'd pay for college if they graduated high school," she said (via People). "She did that every year for years. Now she's paid for more than 130 kids to go to college. There are a lot of remarkable people who are less well-known that I've been lucky to meet, and I like to raise up their stories."