“It’s been a great ride and a great privilege,” Sharpe said. “I am nothing but grateful for the chance to survive in this crazy business and do what I love doing almost more than anything else, and that is bring the news to the people of the Lowcountry.”
Sharpe joined the Live 5 News team on Oct. 3, 1973, when he was 22 years old. He began as a radio newsman who was shifting gears to television. He would work with established legends in Charleston television including the likes of Charlie Hall and Carroll Godwin.
To viewers, Sharpe is one of the most well-known faces of journalism in the Lowcountry. For 5 decades, he has guided viewers through the biggest stories of their lives: Watergate, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Hurricane Hugo, 9/11, the Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine Charleston firefighters; and the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting that killed nine parishioners of the historically Black church in downtown Charleston.
In the Live 5 newsroom, Sharpe is a respected mentor, leading and coaching the next generation of journalists and investigators.
“I have never worked with anyone who commands breaking news as Bill Sharpe does,” said WCSC-TV Vice President and General Manager Dan Cates. His passion, energy, and dedication are just as strong in 2021 as it was in 1973.”
Sharpe earned numerous awards including feature and investigative reporting and has been part of newscasts that brought back Emmys and a Peabody Award. In August 2021, he earned his most recent honor when the South Carolina Broadcaster’s Association named him Anchor of the Year.
In 2017, Sharpe and his longtime co-anchor, Debi Chard, received the Masters Award from the South Carolina Broadcasters Association. It was the first time the award was given to a team rather than an individual. In 2018, the two were inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Silver Circle, which honors those with at least 25 years in the industry.
Born Oct. 15, 1950, Sharpe grew up in West Ashley and spent his entire life and broadcasting career in Charleston. He graduated from St. Andrews High School, which is now West Ashley High and earned a degree from Emory University in Atlanta in English Literature with a minor in French.
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