BA 1963, Communication; HDR 1986, College of Liberal Arts
Executive Chairman, C-Span
Born in Lafayette, Indiana, Dr. Brian P. Lamb launched his broadcast career at Lafayette’s Jefferson High School. Upon graduating from Purdue, he joined the Navy with a tour that included White House duty and a stint in the Pentagon public affairs office. He returned to Lafayette in 1967 for a short while and worked at the local TV station. He then returned to Washington working as a free-lance reporter for UPI Audio, a Senate Press secretary, and a White House telecommunications policy staffer. In 1974, he started publishing a biweekly newsletter, The Media Report. He was also the Washington bureau chief for CableVision magazine.
Lamb envisioned a public affairs network that delivered information by satellite and in 1977 gathered the financial backing for C-SPAN, a not-for-profit company. C-SPAN delivered the first televised session of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. He served as the company’s CEO from its inception until April 2012 when he became C-SPAN’s executive chairman. He also hosted Book TV, Booknotes and Q&A on C-SPAN.
Lamb was named a Washingtonian of the Year in 2007. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 and is one of two Purdue alumni to receive the award (the other was Neil Armstrong). On February 25th, 2013, he was named the 2013 Bresnan Ethics in Business Award recipient. In 2011 the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue was renamed in his honor.