Four-time Emmy award winning journalist, attorney, and Iraq war fighter pilot Willard Shepard has brought his unique insight to NBC 6 viewers as an anchor and investigative reporter for more than 15 years. He has anchored the 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and weekend editions. Shepard, a member of the Florida Bar, uses his legal skills to develop investigations that uncover fraud in private business and government. He was awarded an Emmy for his coverage of the controversial George Zimmerman murder case. His broadcasts also show families how to protect their daily finances, home, credit, and investments.
An expert in the military and aviation, Shepard uses his combat experience to guide viewers through the ongoing war on terror at home and abroad. He gives the public an inside look at the federal, state, and local efforts to keep America safe. His work detailing anti-terror efforts underwater to protect ports and cruise ships earned him an Emmy award. During the military operations in Iraqi and Afghanistan his military background brought a detailed perspective on the battlefront. He has also covered military conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo. Shepard came to WTVJ in 1994 from CBS affiliate WJW-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, where he anchored the morning news and was a special projects reporter. He received another Emmys for his news series “The State of Black Cleveland”. He has also been honored for his reporting by the Associated Press, United Press International and the Aviation and Space Writers Association.
In addition to his commitment to news, Shepard is a Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force Civil Air Patrol. His A-10 squadron was the first Air Force Reserve Fighter unit ever to go into combat. During the Gulf War, Shepard flew 52 combat sorties over Iraq and Kuwait. He was awarded six Air Medals for his support of Coalition Army Ground Forces. Shepard has also flown missions over Bosnia for NATO. He is the first Air Force pilot to fly the advanced Soviet Mig-29 fighter. As a staff officer, Lt. Colonel Shepard examined air operations programs at U.S. Southern Command. For the Air Force Reserve, he assists high school students in obtaining ROTC scholarships and appointments to the USAF Academy.
He is a graduate of the Florida International University College of Law and specializes in media and aviation legal issues. Shepard graduated cum laude from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Theater. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School in San Antonio, Texas and a finalist for the prestigious White House Fellowship program.
Shepard is actively involved in the community. He currently works with the Miami-Dade County School Board’s “5,000 Role Models” program, teaching middle and high school students the values they need to succeed and is proud to be a member of the Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer Honorary Board. He is married and has two kids and is an avid boxer and movie goer.