Skip to main content

Sam Nunn: A Conversation

GPB features another distinguished Georgian in our continuing "Conversation" series. Moderated by GPB Senior Correspondent Susan Hoffman, Sam Nunn: A Conversation provides unique insights on current U.S. foreign policy, rogue nations and terrorists groups, as well as ways to stop the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide.

A native of Perry, Georgia and graduate of Emory University Law School, Sam Nunn was elected to the United States Senate in 1972 at age 34. During his 24-year tenure in the Senate he became known for his independent, non-partisan judgement and great mastery of defense and international security issues.

As chair of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn gained the respect of leaders around the world. Colin Powell has described him as "one of the great legislators of our times." When Nunn retired from the Senate in 1996, Senator Robert Byrd spoke with emotion: "It is indeed no exaggeration to say that the world today is a safer place in part because of the monumental efforts of one man, the senior Senator from the State of Georgia."

In this conversation Senator Nunn discusses the creation of the Nuclear Threat Initiative which he co-founded with Ted Turner just months before the devastating events of September 11, 2001. Although generally supportive of President Bush, Senator Nunn speaks candidly about his disagreement with the "doctrine of pre-emption" used to justify the war with Iraq, as well as his concern about the nuclear status of North Korea.