After earning a BA in English from Harvard University and a MS in Journalism from Boston University, Gene Pell began his career in television news in 1963. He started as an anchor for Boston stations WBZ and WCVB in Boston, moved up to be political correspondent and director of foreign news for the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, then foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington, DC correspondent for NBC News. In 1980 he was named deputy director of Voice of America and in 1983 was appointed VOA Director. He resigned four months later to become president of Munich-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a post he held for eight years.
Throughout his career, his reporter’s roots and journalistic heritage influenced all he did. In 1990, while president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, he told the Chicago Tribune, “When we reach the point that freely elected governments are in office for a period of time, that there is an independent judiciary, that the secret police are under control, and that there are guarantees of freedom, then it may be time to say, `Mission accomplished.’ But we don`t believe the battle is won, and right now we are an insurance policy against sliding back.”
After VOA and RFE/RL, Pell hosted several radio programs geared to veterans, their families, and the American military on BroadcastAMERICA.com and American Veterans Center radio.