The John Alexander Project is created in the spirit of John Alexander, an incredibly talented young journalist who inspired those lucky enough to cross his path.
John was in Chongqing, China, on assignment for Koppel On Discovery when he died of sudden heart failure in December 2007 at 26. Prior to Discovery, John worked for ABC News Nightline and NPR.
» A Nightline Tribute
» Excerpt: "Breaking Point," 2007
We’d like to introduce you to John—lifting liberally from a bio he wrote for the Discovery website.
John always had trouble sitting still. “I was a pretty rambunctious kid, always on the move. My preschool teacher once told my parents that I rode my tricycle on two wheels.”
Luckily, he was deftly able to channel what his grade school teachers called hyperactivity into a passion for the fast-paced world of broadcast journalism. That passion was ignited during an internship at ABC News Nightline, following his sophomore year at the University of Michigan. "I remember Tom Bettag telling me, 'Journalism can't be taught, it can only be caught.' —I sure caught it that summer.”
John honed his journalism skills in the newsroom of Michigan Radio, where he came to appreciate the use of language and sound to paint vivid pictures. He later spent a year abroad, first studying at the London School of Economics while “enjoying the theater that is the British parliamentary system” as an intern for the BBC's political unit, and later in Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied international affairs.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, he served as an editorial assistant for NPR's Morning Edition before returning to ABC News to work under Tom Bettag, then executive producer of ABC News Nightline and This Week With George Stephanopoulos.
John grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended St. Xavier High School. He was an avid motorsports enthusiast. "The excitement, the strategy, the teamwork and the sheer unpredictability of making television—it's exhilarating and, in many respects, not unlike driving a race car."