MD Anderson Honors Journalist, Cancer Activist Katie Couric

Annual Houston Fundraiser Features Interview With CNN's Sanjay Gupta

MD Anderson News Release 10/13/11

Legendary journalist, best-selling author and cancer activist Katie Couric joins CNN's Sanjay Gupta, M.D. Nov. 1 for the fifth annual A Conversation With a Living Legend® luncheon benefiting The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The event, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Americas at the Hilton Americas-Houston, benefits colon cancer research at MD Anderson.

Since its inception in 2007, A Conversation With a Living Legend® in Houston has raised more than $2 million for research and patient care initiatives at MD Anderson. Sheridan and John Eddie Williams chair this year's event. Honorary chairs are Katie and Harry Cullen Jr., Rose and Harry Cullen Sr., and Kathy and Jody McCord.

Couric will be honored at the luncheon as recipient of the prestigious 2011 Making Cancer History® Award for her compassion, dedication, desire and determination to make life better for those dealing with the challenges of cancer. Past recipients include former first lady Laura Bush, Sam Donaldson, Sherry Lansing, T. Boone Pickens, Bob Schieffer and Jeff Wigbels.

Couric launched her broadcast journalism career in 1979 and for more than three decades covered news for ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN. She was co-anchor of NBC News "Today" for 15 years. On Sept. 5, 2006, she became the first female solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast in her new position as anchor and managing editor of "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric." Couric joined ABC News earlier this year and is slated to produce and host her own nationally syndicated talk show. She is author of the best-selling book "The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives" and currently writes a monthly column for Glamour magazine.

After losing her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998, Couric embraced the fight against the country's No. 2 cancer killer.  In March 2000, she helped launch the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance with the Entertainment Industry Foundation to fund cutting-edge research in colorectal cancer and generate awareness about the lifesaving value of screening.

Couric is also co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer, an unprecedented fundraising effort that was showcased during a one-hour, commercial-free, primetime program in fall 2008. The broadcast, aired simultaneously on ABC, CBS and NBC, featured live performances and appearances by legendary recording artists and stars from film, television and sports. Expanded coverage two years later encompassed ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and a host of cable channels. To date, $180 million has been pledged to support "Dream Teams" of scientists from different institutions, including MD Anderson, working together to develop and deliver new cancer therapies to patients sooner.

Sanjay Gupta, M.D., is the multiple Emmy®-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, leads CNN's domestic and international reporting on health and medical news for "American Morning," "Anderson Cooper 360°" and CNN documentaries. He also anchors the weekend medical affairs program "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." He is a member of the staff and faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine. He is associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and regularly performs surgery at Emory University and Grady hospitals. Gupta is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Neurosurgery, a certified medical investigator and a board member of the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Foundation. Gupta received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate of medicine from the University of Michigan Medical School.

Approximately 800 attendees are expected for the luncheon. For information, call 866-262-9029 or email 10/13/11