He has reported from Iran during election protests and gone undercover in places like Myanmar and Zimbabwe, but it’s likely nothing could have prepared CNN’s Jim Sciutto for one of his toughest and most surprising assignments: delivering his second son.
The cable network’s chief national security correspondent was living with his wife, ABC News’s Gloria Riviera, in London, when she suddenly went into a very fast labor at their home.
Sciutto says he quickly realized he was about to become an unofficial OB-GYN. He credits his wife with doing “the toughest stuff,” and with the help of an operator walking Sciutto through the steps on the phone, baby Caden had been born by the time paramedics arrived.
“Two other ambulances showed up, so by the end of it, we had 12 polite London EMTs drinking tea,” Sciutto quips to ITK.
The journalist, who, as a kid in the Big Apple, had dreams of clocking in for work at Shea Stadium to play for his beloved Mets, was a chief of staff and senior adviser to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke before joining CNN.
A Chinese history major and Edward R. Murrow Award winner, Sciutto has zipped all around the world for work, including reports from more than 50 countries and multiple assignments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.
We wanted to know more about the 44-year-old globe-trotting dad to Caden, now 4, and Tristan, 6, so we asked him to answer these questions.
Grew up in: New York City
College attended: Yale University
What did you want to be when you were a kid? After center fielder for the New York Mets, I dreamed of being a modern day Atticus Finch. But then I worked in a law firm, hated it and found my way to broadcast.
Favorite hobby/activity: Being with my wife and kids is No. 1, then comes travel. I’ll never lose the thrill of exploring far-away places and soaking it all up.
Favorite/most hated food: Spicy is best, especially Indian or Hunan/Sichuan Chinese. I eat just about anything but draw the line at liver!
Most embarrassing moment/most memorable moment: Lots to choose from for most embarrassing, but I won’t forget how my voice cracked virtually whenever I opened my mouth between the ages of 14 and 16.
Most memorable moments are my marriage and the births of my two kids, especially the unplanned home birth for No. 2.
Favorite band: For the old school music fan in me, Oscar Peterson. For the kid, a band like Phoenix.
I’m happiest when: My boys deliver those moments of wide-eyed amazement and precocious wisdom that only kids can.
If I had a theme song, it would be: (And this may be too obvious but …) I always like [The Beatles’] “With a Little Help from my Friends.”
What you like/dislike about D.C.: The enormous variety of smart, knowledgeable people from all over the world trying to make a difference. But D.C. will never beat my hometown New York.
I have a fear of: Getting called onto stage by a comedian.
Dream guest for my show is: [Russian President] Vladimir Putin
Something that few know about you: My wife kicks my butt at most sports.
Biggest pet peeve: Indifference to others.
Best advice given: From my mother (and one I try to pass on to my kids): Try to change the world for the better even in small ways.