Bob ’83 and Lee ’82 Woodruff, now a journalism power cou-ple, began as Colgate undergraduates. During his college career, Bob, an English major from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, made his mark not only in academics, but also on the lacrosse field as a record breaking, all-American letter winner. Lee, a New York na-tive who always dreamed of becoming a novelist, enrolled in sev-eral writing classes throughout college and also graduated with a degree in English.
After receiving his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School, Bob began practicing law, while Lee took to the corporate world. In 1988, the couple married and soon after moved to Beijing, China. It was here that Bob received his first break into the journalism industry, as he was hired as a translator for CBS news during its coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
“When I realized that a job existed in this world where I could be in the middle of huge events and actually paid for it, it was an epiphany for me,” Bob Woodruff has said.
His career continued to skyrocket, and in 1996 he was hired as a correspondent for ABC news. Lee’s career was also evolving; in 1991 she opted for a more flexible job as a freelance writer as she began juggling the new responsibilities of raising a family.
“I began to find my voice and wrote more about my own experi-ences and those of my family,” Lee Woodruff said. She began to edit for “Family Fun Magazine,” as well as contributing articles for several other family magazines.
However, on January 29, 2006, the Woodruffs were hit by trag-edy. On assignment in Iraq to cover U.S. troops before President Bush’s State of the Union address, Bob was struck by a roadside bomb outside of Baghdad. Suffering traumatic brain injuries, Bob was placed in a medically induced coma for 36 days. After a long recovery, he returned to ABC news on February 28, 2007, covering the hardships of wounded American soldiers.
To chronicle their experiences, Bob and Lee co-wrote the book “In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing,” pub-lished in 2007. A portion of the book’s profits are donated to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, an organization created to provide aid for injured soldiers and their families. Pledging to invest, educate and collaborate, the group also helps reintegrate soldiers back into society after injury.
The couple’s careers certainly have not slowed down since the trag-edy. Bob has received countless journalism aewards for his accom-plishments and Lee has just recently published her first fiction book, entitled “Those We Love Most,” a novel telling of two generations of loss, love and healing.
Contact Annie McNamara at [email protected]