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Step Out on Nothing

How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life's Challenges

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


It was August 25, 2006, my first on-camera studio open for the CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes. Executive Producer Jeff Fager poked his head in the dressing room." Good luck, Brotha! You've come a long way to get here. You've earned it."
…If only he knew. My mind flashed back to elementary school, when a therapist had informed my mother, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Pitts, your son cannot read."
In Step Out on Nothing, Byron Pitts chronicles his astonishing story of overcoming a childhood filled with obstacles to achieve enormous success in life. Throughout Byron's difficult youth—his parents separated when he was twelve and his mother worked two jobs to make ends meet—he suffered from a debilitating stutter. But Byron was keeping an even more embarrassing secret: He was also functionally illiterate. For a kid from inner-city Baltimore, it was a recipe for failure.
Pitts turned struggle into strength and overcame both of his impediments. Along the way, a few key people "stepped out on nothing" to make a difference for him—from his mother, who worked tirelessly to raise her kids right and delivered ample amounts of tough love, to his college roommate, who helped Byron practice his vocabulary and speech. Pitts even learns from those who didn't believe in him, like the college professor who labeled him a failure and told him to drop out of college. Through it all, he persevered, following his steadfast passion. After fifteen years in local television, he landed a job as a correspondent for CBS News in 1998, and went on to become an Emmy Award–winning journalist and a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes. Not bad for a kid who couldn't read.
From a challenged youth to a reporting career that has covered 9/11 and Iraq, Pitts's triumphant and uplifting story will resonate with anyone who has felt like giving up in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardships.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 29, 2009 – Anyone who's watched 60 Minutes correspondent Pitts on television will be hard-pressed to reconcile that collected, intelligent reporter with the "functionally illiterate" elementary school boy he once was. Pitts's authorial debut tells his inspiring against-the-odds tale, one that begins in inner city Baltimore and ends at CBS's venerable news institution. Enduring bullies and humiliation through grade-school, Pitts also struggled with reading, and stuttered until he was 20 years old. Even after scratching his way to Ohio Wesleyan Univ., his freshman literature professor told Pitts he was wasting everyone's time. Pitts credits his enviable determination to the strong women in his life, including his wise, spiritual mother (whose first question in any situation is always, 'Did you pray yet?'"), and OWU professor Ulle Lewes (who, Pitts says, not only "changed my life, she saved it"). Further, as an African-American, Pitts had to overcome startling racism in nearly every newsroom he encountered. Pitts shares spare but illuminating stories, such as his encounter with Dan Rather just before departing for Afghanistan; Rather advised him to write letters "to all the people you love most in the world," just in case. Pitts's story is refreshing and worth a read for fans of journalism and rags-to-riches memoirs.

Customer Reviews

Great book

This is a fascinating read! Very inspiring, I highly recommend this book for everyone!

Step Out on Nothing
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Sep 29, 2009
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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