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Publisher's Summary

"It was August 25, 2006, my first on-camera studio open for the CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes. Executive Producer Jeff Fager poked his head in the dressing room. 'Good luck, Brotha! You've come a long way to get here. You've earned it.' If only he knew. My mind flashed back to elementary school, when a therapist had informed my mother, 'I'm sorry, Mrs. Pitts, your son cannot read.'"

In Step Out on Nothing, Byron Pitts chronicles his astonishing story of overcoming a childhood filled with obstacles to achieve enormous success in life. Throughout Byron's difficult youth - his parents separated when he was twelve and his mother worked two jobs to make ends meet - he suffered from a debilitating stutter. But Byron was keeping an even more embarrassing secret: He was also functionally illiterate.

For a kid from inner-city Baltimore, it was a recipe for failure. Pitts turned struggle into strength and overcame both of his impediments. Along the way, a few key people "stepped out on nothing" to make a difference for him - from his mother, who worked tirelessly to raise her kids right and delivered ample amounts of tough love, to his college roommate, who helped Byron practice his vocabulary and speech. Pitts even learns from those who didn't believe in him, like the college professor who labeled him a failure and told him to drop out of college. Through it all, he persevered, following his steadfast passion.

After 15 years in local television, he landed a job as a correspondent for CBS News in 1998, and went on to become an Emmy Award - winning journalist and a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes. Not bad for a kid who couldn't read. From a challenged youth to a reporting career that has covered 9/11 and Iraq, Pitts's triumphant and uplifting story will resonate with anyone who has felt like giving up in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardships.

©2009 Byron Pitts (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"It seems unimaginable that someone of Byron's intelligence and elegance could have faced so many struggles as a young man. No wonder he is such an inspired story teller - his own story is inspiring." (Katie Couric)
"This book will move you, inspire you, and make you look at your own difficulties in a whole new light." (Anderson Cooper)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Step Out on Nothing

The most inspiring book I've read/listened to in a very long time. I was so inspired I bought the hard copy for my 13 year grand daughter who is currently having problems reading.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Powerful, Inspirational and Encouraging

This book took me on an emotional roller coaster. It took me back to a special time in my life and encourage to keep fighting no matter what the obstacles.

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Inspiring!

This was an inspiring story that grabbed me from the start all the way to the end. The author read the book, and he was great! I highly recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Every parent and teacher should read this

I am so inspired by Mr. Pitts' story of faith, family, and community. As an educator, I have met so many colleagues who have given up on students with challenging problems. As a parent, I have lost hope from time to time. Mr. Pitts' story makes you stop and re-think any feeling of hopelessness. Every one involved in supporting young people should "read" this for encouragement. Many young people should listen to this, especially if they have difficulty reading.

Thank you, Mr. Pitts, for being willing to share your painful and victorious memories.