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Richard Engel

writer, reporter, NBC News

There is a certain personality type that pursues a job as a foreign correspondent in a war zone. After all, there are foreign correspondent jobs in Paris. But for Richard Engel, NBC's Middle East correspondent and the only television reporter who's continually covered the Iraq conflict since it began, it's clearly less a job than a calling. Especially when you consider, upon graduating from Stanford, he picked up and headed to Cairo with only some small savings and a passion for finding the story. Born and raised in Manhattan, Engel has now lived in the Middle East for 10 years. After a three-year stint covering the Palestine uprising against Israel, he was freelancing for the BBC and ABC in 2002 when he signed with NBC, and he's been there ever since. By most accounts he's a thorough and dogged reporter; he speaks and reads fluent Arabic (in addition to Spanish and Italian) and has been known to go house to house to report a story. As Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote, "Among the small circle of journalists who risk their lives in the region, Engel commands considerable respect."