Military Wiki
Pete Williams
Pete Williams as Assistant Secretary of Defense at a press briefing, 1991.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs

In office
May 22, 1989 – January 20, 1993
Nominated by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by J. Daniel Howard
Succeeded by Vernon A. Guidry, Jr.
Personal details
Born Louis Alan Williams[1]
February 28, 1952(1952-02-28) (age 69)[2]
Caspar, Wyoming, United States
Alma mater Stanford University
Occupation Journalist, spokesperson

Louis Alan "Pete" Williams (born February 28, 1952) is an American journalist and former government official. Since 1993, he has been a television correspondent for NBC News.

Williams, a graduate of Stanford University, began his career in local news with the Casper, Wyoming, television station KTWO and its eponymous radio station in 1974.

In 1986, Williams became press secretary for U.S. Representative Dick Cheney and followed Cheney to the United States Department of Defense as Cheney became United States Secretary of Defense to be the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in 1989 during the George H. W. Bush administration.

Williams became a correspondent for NBC News in 1993 after leaving the Defense Department; his main areas of news coverage for NBC include the Department of Justice and Supreme Court.

Early life and education[]

Born in Casper, Wyoming, Williams graduated from Natrona County High School in 1970.[3]

Williams graduated from Stanford University in 1974.[4]


Early journalism career[]

From 1974 to 1985, Williams was reporter and news director for the Casper-based KTWO television and KTWO radio stations.[5] Williams also served as director for the Wyoming Future Project from 1985 to 1986.[2]

Press secretary[]

In 1986, Williams was hired as press secretary and legislative assistant in the staff of U.S. Representative Dick Cheney. Williams was appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in 1989, following Cheney's appointment as United States Secretary of Defense, and worked as press secretary of the Defense Department.[5]

While serving as a Pentagon spokesperson, some in the press accused him of allegedly working to conceal certain military activities during the invasion of Panama and successful extradition of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, which was later featured in the documentary film The Panama Deception (1992).

Later journalism career[]

NBC News hired Williams in March 1993 as justice correspondent based in Washington, D. C., to cover news from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court.[5]

As NBC justice correspondent, Williams has interviewed:

  • Attorney General John Ashcroft[6]
  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales[7]
  • Attorney General Eric Holder[8]

In covering the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings for MSNBC and NBC News, Williams earned praise from various media analysts for choosing to report events in a restrained, cautionary fashion. In contrast with the Associated Press and CNN, Williams refused to report a later-retracted claim that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had arrested a suspect for the bombing.[9] For Politico, Dylan Byers commented: "On a major story that has been defined by inaccurate and conflicting reports and wild speculation, Williams has been calm, diligent and correct."[10] Brian Resnick of the National Journal wrote that Williams showed "restraint in not jumping too far into conclusions."[11] The phrase "NBC's Pete Williams" became a trending topic in the overnight hours of April 19, 2013.[12]

Personal life[]

He was outed as gay by writer Michelangelo Signorile in August 1991.[13]


  1. "Nominations before the Senate Armed Services Committee, first session, 101st Congress". U.S. Government Printing Office. 1990. p. 350. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sciolino, Elaine (February 8, 1991). "Voice of the Pentagon Delivers Press Curbs With a Deftness Honed on TV". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  3. Hewitt, Pete (February 25, 1991). "Defense Spokesman Pete Williams Is the Pentagon's Stand-Up Guy". People. p. 58.,,20114522,00.html. 
  4. Bush, George H.W. (May 2, 1989). "Nomination of Louis A. Williams to Be an Assistant Secretary of Defense". The American Presidency Project. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Pete Williams". NBC News. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  6. Williams, Pete (November 18, 2009). "Ashcroft: Holder lacks authority to order terror trials". NBC News. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  7. Williams, Pete (March 27, 2007). "Gonzales: Firings were not improper". NBC News. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  8. Williams, Pete (June 5, 2013). "Holder says he has no intention of stepping down". NBC News. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  9. Freedlander, David (April 20, 2013). "NBC, Today Show Get Boston Marathon Bombing Coverage Right". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  10. Byers, Dylan (April 19, 2013). "Pete Williams and the threat to CNN". Dylan Byers on Media (blog of Politico). Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  11. Resnick, Brian (April 19, 2013). "Pete Williams' Reporting Philosophy, And Why He's Getting Boston Right". National Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  12. [1].
  13. Miller, Stephen (November 1, 1991). "Outings and Innings – Media and the Closet". Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Retrieved September 8, 2013.

External links[]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).