PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) is honoring Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent and chief Washington correspondent, host of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” and a KYW Newsradio Hall of Famer.
Mitchell has received numerous awards for her work, and the GPA is adding one more. She is receiving the distinguished journalist award at its 2021 Philadelphia World Heritage City Celebration on Thursday.
Mitchell joined NBC News in 1978 as a general correspondent in Washington, D.C., but she actually got her start in Philadelphia. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, then worked for KYW Newsradio for almost 10 years.
Mitchell is now a member of the KYW Hall of Fame. She said returning to Philadelphia for the award is an honor.
“This honor is so meaningful to me, given my love for Philadelphia, my roots in Philadelphia, and my respect and admiration for what GPA does for the importance of Philadelphia as a Heritage City,” she said, “and its contributions to the nation and the world.”
Philadelphia became the nation’s first World Heritage City in 2015 by UNESCO, recognized by Independence Hall and nearly 70 other national historic landmarks. The effort is focused on extending Philly’s global reach while preserving its foundations.
“We have so many institutions here culturally and historically,” Mitchell said. “Our cultural institutions — and, going back to Independence Hall, of course, and our founders, Ben Franklin — that’s all part of our heritage, and we have to celebrate it. Let the world know just what Philadelphia has to offer.”
The city also offers many distinguished educational institutions. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, for example, was developed by researchers at Penn.
“All of that is really a great resource for the city and for the nation,” she added.
Mitchell currently serves as emeritus trustee and chair emeritus of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers.
Back when she started college, journalism was not on her radar.
“I went to Penn thinking I was going to become an English professor or perhaps a violinist,” she recalled. “What happened, of course, is what happens when you go to a great university.”
She was transformed by many other opportunities and interests on campus. She discovered WXPN through her love for classical music, which the student-run station played at the time. There, she fell in love with radio broadcasting.
“It gave me such great experience that I ended up becoming an intern at KYW in the summer, and the rest is history.”
Mitchell worked her way up the KYW newsroom and covered local politics. The late ’60s and early ’70s were tumultuous in Philadelphia, run at the time by notorious Mayor Frank Rizzo.
“There were a lot of cha