By Monique Svazlian Tallon
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
GLENDALE — It’s not every day you get to meet an 11-time Emmy Award winning investigative journalist, and it’s even rarer when that person happens to be Armenian. Armen Keteyian was the featured speaker at the Armenian Professional Society (APS) event on August 23 at the Glendale Central Library where he shared highlights from his incredible 30-year career in journalism.
Keteyian was born in Detroit, the grandson of Armenian immigrants who came to the US in the 1920s through Ellis Island. He went on to graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Journalism and started his career as a sports editor for a local weekly newspaper in La Mesa, Calif., and then worked at a daily newspaper in Escondido, Calif., before moving on to the San Diego Union-Tribune and San Diego Magazine. Through sheer grit and determination, he landed his first break as a reporter at Sports Illustrated in 1982 and within a few years was investigating and reporting on topics such as corruption in college football and basketball, sports gambling in America and the use of steroids amongst professional athletes.
During his talk, Keteyian shared stories of his time as an altar boy at St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Detroit and recalled stories about how his grandmother Vartouhi survived the massacres and death marches of the Armenian Genocide. His upbringing clearly impacted his drive for uncovering the truth and fighting for justice. He went on in his career to work for ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings as a network television correspondent and then to CBS Sports and HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
He has anchored events such as the Tour de France and covered the Super Bowl and Final Four on numerous occasions. In 2006 he was named the Chief Investigative Correspondent for CBS News and later, a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes.” From 2013-2017 he was the lead correspondent for “60 Minutes Sports” on Showtime. In addition to his work in television, Keteyian is also the author of numerous New York Times best selling books, including the recent No. 1 best-selling biography on Tiger Woods. He also shared a few insights that he’s learned throughout his impressive career. “If you work hard, people will notice” said Keteyian. “Don’t chase the money – follow your heart, pursue your passion and the money will follow.”