Brian Williams: How I Found Out About Osama Bin Laden's Death

10:21 PM PST 05/02/2011 by Kimberly Nordyke
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The "NBC Nightly News" anchor tells David Letterman about getting a Sunday night call from a senior White House official -- and speeding to NBC's offices at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

NBC's Brian Williams was the first evening news anchor from a broadcast network to jump into the anchor's chair on Sunday night to cover the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces.

On Monday night, he explained to David Letterman on CBS' Late Show how he learned the news.
 
After having dinner with his wife, they were watching NBC's Dateline (which aired a report by Williams on Sunday night) and CBS' 60 Minutes (which aired CBS correspondent Lara Logan's first interview since being sexually attacked in Egypt in February) on TiVo.
 
During a commercial break, Williams checked his BlackBerry and found an e-mail from a White House senior official.
 
"At that moment, the phone rang, and I was told explicitly what it was," Williams said, adding that the person who called was the same one who had e-mailed him. "They said, 'You might want to get in the chair as soon as possible.' They said, 'We've got OBL, and this is a close hold,' which is White House parlance for top secret. And the last words this official said were, 'Tell no one.'"
 
He said his wife got him a bottle of water, started the car and aimed it out of the driveway.
 
"I've been married to a fantastic woman for 25 years," Williams said, adding that "I might have exceeded state and local speed limits on my way to 30 Rock," where NBC Nightly News tapes.
 
Williams also brought copies of Monday's editions of the New York Post and New York Daily News. Letterman held up a copy of the Post -- which ran the Page 1 headline "Got Him!" -- and posed with Williams, quipping that they would be in the paper the next day.

Watch the clip below.

comments powered by Disqus