Richard Engel is a celebrated journalist and chief foreign correspondent for the NBC television network. As such, the 44-year-old has spent a lot of time in literal war zones, and witnessed some horrifying things. His dedication to the job has caused him to courageously fly into nightmarish and potentially lethal situations. Consequently, he has been shot at, ambushed, bombed, and has even appeared on screen reporting through clouds of tear gas. And yet, the New York native does not consider any of those to be the worst day of his life. Instead, it was the one when the journalist learned some devastatingly bad news about his young son, Henry.
Engel had wanted to be a reporter ever since he was a young teen, attending Riverdale Country School in New York. But the future correspondent who would be no stranger to theaters of war already had a fight on his hands. He had the reading and writing learning disability dyslexia, a condition that was not well understood at the time. Despite the best efforts of his parents, it destroyed his confidence and led to behavioral issues at school.
Yet gradually, with specialist help, Engel realized his dyslexia didn’t have to hold him back, or even be the massive problem one evaluating child psychiatrist thought it was. The newsman now credits attending a wilderness survival camp at the age of 13 with boosting his confidence. Subsequently, he attended Stanford University in California and began working in earnest towards his desired destination – becoming a journalist. These days, of course, he is one of the most accomplished and distinguished members of that profession in the U.S. Nonetheless, Engels has never forgotten his personal struggle and gives his time freely to charities that help children with learning difficulties.