Ann Compton is now covering her sixth President for ABC News, having first been assigned to the White House in 1974 following Watergate. In the year 2000, Ann helped ABC News in its pioneering work bringing network television news coverage to the web, and she took the lead in election year political coverage for ABC Radio news. In 1974, she was the first woman to be named a full-time White House correspondent by a network news organization and was one of the youngest correspondents ever to receive the assignment. Compton was also ABCNEWS Chief House of Representatives correspondent from February 1987 to January 1989.
Twice Compton has been invited to serve as a panelist on the presidential ampaign debates, in 1988 and in 1992. During the 1980 political campaign, Compton covered the presidential campaign of independent candidate John Anderson. While a White House correspondent during the 1976 election year, she was also one of ABCNEWS’ four floor reporters at the Republican and Democratic conventions. On election night, she anchored ABCNEWS’ coverage of the gubernatorial races. During her years as a White House correspondent, Compton traveled to all fifty states and across Europe, the Middle East, South America, Africa and Asia, with presidents, vice presidents and first ladies.
Her broadcast career began in Roanoke, Va. During her junior year at Hollins College in Virginia, she was an intern at WDBJ-TV in Roanoke. She spent her first summer after graduation covering the major flooding from Hurricane Camille during the daylight hours, rushing back to the studio each night to anchor the Eleven O’Clock Report. After a few months’ leave to pursue a journalism fellowship at the Washington Journalism Center, Compton moved to Richmond and established a State Capital bureau for WDBJ-TV.
In 1987, Compton was the chairman of the Radio Television Correspondents’ Association, the governing board for 2,500 broadcasters covering Washington, D.C. She is a member of the board of The Freedom Forum Center for Media Studies in New York. Compton received the JANUS Award in May 1987 for her report, “Tax Shelter,” which aired on Nightline. Compton received the 1987 Outstanding Mother of the Year award from the National Mother’s Day.
Compton lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Dr. William Hughes, their three sons and one daughter.