Getting to Know Tom Brokaw’s Beloved Brother: An Inspiring Story

Getting to Know Tom Brokaw’s Beloved Brother: An Inspiring Story

For many people, Tom Brokaw is considered one of the most respected and well-known journalists in the world. However, what many people may not know is that Tom Brokaw also had a beloved little brother named Jim. Jim was an incredible and inspiring individual who overcame numerous obstacles in life but always remained positive and upbeat. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the life of Jim Brokaw and why his story is so inspiring.

Early Life and Education

Jim Brokaw was born in 1940 in Webster, South Dakota. His parents, Kenneth and Jean Brokaw, worked in the local bank and raised their children in a small, close-knit community. As a young child, Jim was very interested in writing and the arts, which inspired him to pursue a degree in journalism and literature. He attended the University of Iowa and graduated in 1962 with a degree in journalism.

Military Service

Following his graduation, Jim Brokaw was eager to serve his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1963. He was stationed in Vietnam and served as a combat journalist, photographing and writing about the war. During his service, he was wounded in combat, though he never spoke publicly about the details of his injury. In 1965, Brokaw was honorably discharged and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service.

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Returning Home and Working in Journalism

After being discharged from the Army, Jim Brokaw returned to the United States and worked in various positions in journalism. He had a passion for writing and photography, and he was eventually hired by the Associated Press in 1968 as a reporter. During this time, his brother, Tom, was making waves in the world of journalism and the two shared a strong bond.

A New Opportunity in San Francisco

In 1972, Jim Brokaw accepted an offer to join the San Francisco Chronicle as a reporter. He enjoyed his work and spent the next several years covering a wide variety of topics, from politics to lifestyle pieces. He was widely regarded as a talented writer, and his stories often focused on the plight of the less fortunate.

Health Struggles

Unfortunately, in the late 1970s, Jim Brokaw began to experience numerous health issues. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1978, which had a major impact on his ability to continue working. He was forced to take a leave of absence but still remained involved in his community and continued to write in his spare time.

An Unexpected Career Opportunity

In 1980, Jim Brokaw was offered a job as a feature writer for the San Francisco Examiner. He initially turned down the offer, not wanting to be seen as taking advantage of his brother’s fame. However, after some convincing from Tom, Jim accepted the position and was soon writing for the newspaper’s Sunday magazine.

Becoming a Member of The Committee to Protect Journalists

In 1989, Jim Brokaw was appointed to The Committee to Protect Journalists, an international nonprofit organization that defends press freedom and promotes safety for journalists around the world. He served on the Board of Directors for over a decade and was a major advocate for press freedom.

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Fighting for Equality

Apart from his work with the Committee to Protect Journalists, Jim Brokaw was an active member of the LGBTQ community. He founded the San Francisco GLBT Historical Society in 1991 and was a staunch advocate for LGBTQ rights. He wrote numerous articles about the social and political issues facing the LGBTQ community and was an outspoken proponent of equality.

A Happy Retirement

Jim Brokaw retired in the early 2000s and spent the rest of his years enjoying his retirement. He passed away in 2011, but his legacy remains. He was an inspiring figure who overcame numerous obstacles and fought for what he believed in. He is remembered by many as a devoted brother, talented journalist, and tireless advocate for social change.

His Brother Tom’s Legacy

Tom Brokaw has also carried on Jim’s legacy through his own career in journalism. In 2012, Tom won a Special Achievement Emmy Award for his work with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). He also serves on the board of World Press Freedom Canada, an organization dedicated to protecting press freedom and human rights around the world. Tom is a living reminder of his brother’s legacy and his own dedication to press freedom and the protection of journalists.


Jim Brokaw was an amazing individual who overcame adversity and took on numerous challenges during his lifetime. He was a talented journalist, a passionate advocate for social justice, and a devoted brother. His story is an inspiring one and serves as a reminder of the power of determination and resilience.

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