(1946 - )
Evergreen has seen its share of residents and frequent visitors with celebrity status, but seldom – if ever – has a person with national recognition invested himself in this community the way Greg Dobbs has.
Greg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a student at Berkeley in the Sixties he found himself in the midst of the free speech movement, surrounded by campus protests, occupations and police cars getting crushed. “I was a fascinated spectator” who liked the thought of getting to go where the action was. It sparked a desire to pursue a career in journalism after Berkeley, earning his masters at Northwestern.
The journalist with 40 years’ experience in television broadcasting logged 23 years with ABC News – much of it as a correspondent, including 10 years overseas. In addition to the US space program, he’s covered news in more than 80 countries. Listed among his credits is coverage of the following news events from the early ‘70s through the early ‘90s:
- the Iranian revolution and occupation of the US Embassy
- the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
- the civil war in Lebanon and the ejection of the PLO from Beirut
- the Iran-Iraq war
- political turmoil that led to the fall of the Iron Curtain
- Northern Ireland’s civil war and the deaths of IRA hunger-strikers
- the assassination of Anwar Sadat in Egypt
- Zimbabwe’s civil war
- the Watergate scandal
- the Native American occupation of Wounded Knee
- Gary Gilmore’s execution
- the Exxon Valdez oil spill
Being blessed with a memory seemingly better than most people, Greg seldom took notes when interviewing a politician, world leader, or fighters involved in civil war. He wrote his own copy and entered many hostile territories with photographers, on more than one occasion seeing colleagues lose their lives just an arm's length away.
Greg’s excellence in journalism earned him two national Emmy Awards – one for “Best Spot News Coverage on a Network” in 1980 for reporting on an earthquake in Italy and another in 1989 for “Best Network Documentary” on environmental poisoning in America. The Society of Professional Journalists honored him with the “Distinguished Service Award in 1986.
He and his family (wife Carol, and two sons) moved to Evergreen in 1986. He’d spent a decade living and traveling overseas during a period when communication with family was difficult – before email and cell phones. “I loved everything about my work except that,” Greg said. “I wanted more family life.”
In 1992 he declined the opportunity to relocate to New York City and turned to hosting a talk show on Denver’s KOA radio for six years as well as an Emmy Award-winning discussion program on Rocky Mountain PBS. “After the requirement of neutrality with ABC, it was a change to be paid to say what I thought,” he noted.
When high definition television (HDTV) came into being, he was hired by World Report for his “dream job,” covering unreported or under-reported stories in depth. He was given the luxury of devoting 30-60 minutes of air time to topics such as the drug war in Colombia, the legend of Agent Orange in Vietnam, and a report card of South Africa several years after the end of apartheid.
He contributed to the Rocky Mountain News as a columnist critiquing the news media. He took up writing op-ed columns for the Denver Post and for the Canyon Courier, Evergreen’s local newspaper.
Writing is something he enjoys doing for work and for pleasure. Skiing and biking are also favorite pastimes, activities that confirm living in Colorado was a right choice.
For a time, Greg taught at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He’s written two books – one a textbook for journalism (Better Broadcast Writing, Better Broadcast News), the other an account of some of the more exciting stories he’s covered (Life in the Wrong Lane).
Having lived in France and England where the government takes care of many of the social services for their respective populations, Greg developed a real awareness of the sense of volunteerism that makes the United States stand apart from other nations. Upon settling into life in Evergreen, Greg and Carol suddenly saw they could get involved locally. And they did – much more than most.
Despite a schedule that included a great deal of travel, Greg has found time not only to serve on a number of boards of nonprofit organizations but also to volunteer for some of the more mundane tasks such as grilling bratwurst at arts festivals; directing traffic and parking cars; and pouring beer and margaritas, making time for proper training in what to look for when serving alcohol.
He’s been known to show up for a volunteer commitment after taking a red-eye flight in from a faraway point.
He’s spent weekends being a buddy at Camp Comfort, a three-day camp twice each summer for grieving children who have lost a parent or other loved one.
“He’s always generous with his time,” says one nonprofit leader who’s worked with him on multiple occasions. “His participation adds credibility to an event. His ability to be articulate, engaging and entertaining have made him an exceptional emcee, moderator and auctioneer” – services he enjoyed providing for Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Mountain Area Land Trust, the Rocky Mountain Literary Festival, Evergreen Christian Outreach, the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, Rotary groups, and just about any other organization that asked.
Being well researched and knowledgeable, he’s a sought-after panelist and speaker about subjects like the Middle East, Russia, and the US space program, all of which he's covered extensively. He delights his audiences by being a good a listener as well, and one who often speaks from the heart. Even when serving as the front man, he’s known for consistently giving credit to others who contribute.
His board service includes Bootstraps, Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice, the Mountain Schools Fund (a founding member), and Qualife (Denver). Because of Carol’s involvement with the arts in Evergreen, Greg has been an active participant and supporter of those community activities as well.
Why does he get involved? “Because it’s Evergreen…. I enjoy helping an organization that helps the community.”
And he remains humble about all he’s done for Evergreen.
Source: Interview with Greg Dobbs, GregDobbs.net, personal interaction.