Jim Lehrer was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1934. He is a graduate of Victoria College in Texas and the University of Missouri. After three years as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, he worked for ten years in Dallas as a newspaperman and then as the host of a local experimental news program on public television.
He came to Washington with PBS in 1972, teaming with Robert MacNeil in 1973 to cover the Senate Watergate hearings. They began in 1975 what became The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, and, in 1983, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, the first 60-minute evening news program on television. When MacNeil retired in 1995, the program was renamed The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
Lehrer has been honored with numerous awards for journalism, including a presidential National Humanities Medal in 1999, two Emmys, the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, and the George Foster Peabody Award.
During the last four presidential elections, Lehrer served as moderator for nine of the nationally televised debates among the candidates. In 1988, he moderated one presidential debate and in 1992 two presidential debates. For 1996, he was selected sole moderator of three debates, two presidential and one vice-presidential. In 2000, he was the only moderator for all three presidential debates.
For the 2004 election, Lehrer will moderate the first presidential debate on Sept. 30 in Miami.
"No Certain Rest" is Lehrer's 13th novel; his 14th, "Flying Crows," was published in May 2004. His novels include stories about a fictional lieutenant governor of Oklahoma as well as "The Last Debate" about journalism and presidential debates. He and his novelist wife Kate have three daughters and six grandchildren.