Admitted to the University of Miami at the age of 14, Jamie Colby, B.B.A. ’80, J.D. ’83, never graduated from high school. “I wasn’t old enough to take the GED,” she says, “but it hasn’t stood in the way.” A former hospital candy striper and Burger King cashier, Colby’s law practice began with a Hollywood entertainment firm that assigned her to The Tonight Show.

“He was a genius,” Colby says of the late Johnny Carson, “but he had a very different life off-camera. He was very shy, very kind, and very private. At 22, I worked on his contract renewal with NBC and his divorce. He took me seriously because I cared—and because he recognized I had the academic background for the work I was doing.”

A Bar member in California, Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C., Colby became a Fox News Channel correspondent/anchor after Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News, saw her doing general reporting at CNN in 2003. She had previously reported for CBS. She has covered the 2004 Asian tsunami, the death of Pope John Paul II, the return of soldiers from the war in Iraq, and the 9/11 attacks. That day, Colby was covering the New York City mayoral primaries when she heard that the north tower of the World Trade Center had been hit “by a small plane.” She arrived on the scene and experienced firsthand the magnitude of the day. “I was there for four hours until I could finally find my way out.”

Besides her high score of 280 as a member of the UM bowling team, Colby has since earned numerous honors, including the Edward R. Murrow National Award for her coverage of 9/11. She is married to Marc Wallack, chief of surgery at Metropolitan Hospital in New York. Her son, Gregory, is a student at Penn State University.

Of all the life-altering moments Colby has experienced as a journalist, she recalls a man she met on the beach in Sri Lanka after the tsunami had struck. Through an interpreter, she asked why he was carrying a child’s shoe in a plastic bag. “He said he knew that his son who had washed away would come back, and he wanted to make sure that he had at least one shoe. It was incredible. You don’t forget those things.”

— Leonard Nash