Have You Met?

I didn’t think it would be easy interviewing a well known radio and TV personality whose background includes a 23-year stint as an international ABC News correspondent; but from the minute we said hello, Greg Dobbs put me at ease. That’s part of his charm, his innate ability to make you feel that there’s absolutely nowhere else he’d rather be.

Greg’s had a career filled with excitement and adventure. It’s the kind of life so many of us have fantasized about, living overseas and being in the middle of news breaking events. “I worked for ABC News for 23 years and covered stories in more than 60 countries and in 49 states including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the fall of Communism in Poland, the bombing of Libya, the civil war in Beirut, the expulsion of Idi Amin, the peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt, the Gulf War, the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, the Exxon Valdez oil spill , the Watergate hearings, the San Francisco earthquake, the Indian occupation of Wounded Knee and assorted presidential campaigns and conventions.” Greg is also the recipient of two national Emmys and was awarded a Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was named best adjunct professor in 2001 at the University of Colorado Journalism School and has a nationally syndicated column through Scripps Howard.

When asked how he settled in the Denver area, he replied, “I got tired of doing the same stories. In 1986, ABC opened a bureau in Denver and asked me to come out here. I looked at Denver and found the mountain communities. It was perfect but ABC kept sending me overseas. I was covering the Gulf War and kept thinking Denver or Saudi Arabia.”

How did you balance travel and family? I don’t know that anyone does. When I was gone my wife was basically a single mom. The timing was always unpredictable. I could be on vacation or just home from a trip and a call would come in to pack up and leave again. There was always a debate between the single and married journalists about the hardships of being on the road. The married people always felt guilty about leaving their spouse and family; the singles thought they had it the worst because they could never establish any friendships or social life.

What is the highlight of your career? I’m so lucky to have had so many experiences- it’s hard to figure out a highlight. Some of the most dangerous things were probably the most satisfactory. You have to develop street smarts and learn to survive…winning a couple of Emmys is a highlight… and of course being able to be on the peripheral of history for a few years.

How did you decide to become a journalist? I was contemplating going to law school at Berkeley during the “free speech movement.” I was a fascinated spectator and noticed all of the “suits” at the rallies. They were reporters and could go anywhere. I was fascinated at the thought of the adventure and the excitement of being right in the middle of things. So, I changed majors and became a journalist.

Who are you? Thanks to my father I’m honest and balanced. My dad was a member of city council and a lawyer. He had a reputation for honesty. Who I am came from him. My dad was a big giver of time, energy and money. He sat on many boards. I try to incorporate those same qualities in my life.

What’s important in your life? My family, more than ever before, since for 23 years I was gone more than I was home.

What’s in your future? Commentary, skiing, and bike riding

What are your volunteer activities? I’ve been on the board of Scholarship/Bootstraps Inc. for nine years and I serve on the board of Horizon Adventures. I’m a former board member for QuaLife, Mt. Schools Fund and National Repertory Orchestra. I also provide volunteer consultation with the local school district.

Favorite restaurant? I like any restaurant serving authentic French or Italian. Authentic means the way they prepare it there, not the Yankee version.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Richard Nixon. He was brilliant and he blew it. He understood the world, the way it worked and America’s place in it. The world is a different place today. But even though he knew these things, it did not make him a successful president.

If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? Don’t have a clue and don’t care either

Do you have any pets? Had the world’s friendliest golden retriever for 13 years. He died about three years ago, about the time we became empty nesters, so we decided not to get another pet.

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? That’s a question for someone who’s right-brained. I don’t think I have a right brain. Only answer I can think of is, if they see it before we move, they’ll see it was filled with art and literature.

What word describes you best? Outspoken

How would you like others to describe you? Helpful

What was your first job? Restaurant busboy. Worked as a busboy, then a waiter, through high school and college

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Quick decisions, sometimes compulsively quick

What trait do you most deplore in others? Slow decisions, taking longer than necessary

What is your greatest indulgence? Chocolate, especially since I’ve had heart attacks and open heart surgery

What type of clothes do you like? Plain. Muted. Unpatterned. Unflashy. Most comfortable: blue jeans!

What is the best gift you have ever given? A surprise trip for my wife (with me) to Istanbul

What is the best gift you’ve received? My road bike, to supplement my mountain bike

What or who is the greatest love in your life? My wife Carol

What is your current state of mind? Clear, happy, lucky to be alive

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Making people think

What is your most treasured possession? My monoski

What is the quality you most like in a man? Courtesy

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Courtesy

Favorite books/writers? The Longest Walk)and Endurance

What is the best advice you have ever received? Be patient and the opportunities you want will present themselves. You still have to make the best of them though


Do you have a motto? Don’t worry about things you can’t control

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you? Lots of things; can’t isolate one.

If you could come back in another lifetime, what/who would you like to be? And why? Me! Because it’s been a good life. I’ve had great adventures, survived great challenges, had great opportunities and lived in London, Paris, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington and now the great Rocky Mountains…all places most people would love to visit for even just a week. I have a beautiful and talented family and a career some people envy, full of variety and influence. Who needs more?

What are your hobbies? Other interests? Biking, when the weather is warm, monoskiing when it’s not. Reading a good book when I can which isn’t often enough.

Who is your mentor? Camera crews and the other people, who early in my career helped me fake it, until I understood what I was doing.

What would you most like to be remembered for? Making people think

If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be? Stay home more

What do you like about the town you live in? It’s not a city. For the first 40 years I was surrounded by pavement. Now it’s fresh air, open space, mountains and elk.