Anchor • Court TV • New York City • Age: 39
Adaora Udoji, an award-winning legal journalist for Court TV, garnered a wealth of experience from reporting and producing stories in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. She has covered such high-profile events as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, the Terri Schiavo euthanasia case, the O.J. Simpson criminal trial and every U.S. presidential election since 1996. Udoji joined Court TV News in 2006 as an anchor for Headlines, the network’s hourly news updates. She previously was a general news correspondent for CNN Worldwide, and, an international correspondent for ABC News in London.
Dedicated to her profession, she has received numerous awards. She was part of the CNN team that received a Peabody Award in 2005 for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath and was a contributor to the Tsunami disaster coverage in South Asia that won CNN an Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia University Award.
A Woodrow Wilson National fellow, Udoji earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology at the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.She learned the value of perseverance from her Nigerian born father, Godfrey Udoji, who is the chief engineer for the City of Dearborn, Mich.; and from her mother, Mary Udoji, director of the Washtenaw County Library in Ann Arbor, Mich. Her experiences abroad have left her totally dedicated to a free press. “A free press is critical to an informed public, to democracy,” she says. “When you don’t have it, negative things tend to prosper, such as bad government, health and education.”
Udoji developed a passion for reading from her librarian mother and now volunteers for literacy programs. “Books have always played a huge role in my life. I learned a lot about myself and the world through books… I can’t imagine not having the ability to have that experience,” she says.