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He is known as “America’s storyteller.” Famed WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle remains one of the most accomplished and beloved journalists in American history. Ernie Pyle: Life in the Trenches is a 90-minute WTIU documentary that tells the story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who reached millions each week with stories about ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things.

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Pyle is best remembered for his firsthand reports from the foxholes alongside American troops during World War II. He is also celebrated for his writings as he traveled across the US during the lean years of the Great Depression, revealing the trials and triumphs of hundreds of common Americans. This documentary chronicles not only the bloody battles in Europe and Japan, but also the internal battles Pyle constantly faced with alcoholism, depression, and a troubled marriage.

The program is narrated by Emmy award-winning journalist and former CBS News anchor Dan Rather. Actor Jonathan Banks—from TV series Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul—gives voice to Ernie Pyle and his most acclaimed writings and personal correspondence to his closest friends and family. The film also includes notable interviews with the late Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney, as well as a number of World War II veterans, contemporary journalists, and historians.

Ernie Pyle: Life in the Trenches reveals that through two of the darkest chapters in America’s history, the voice of Ernie Pyle became the voice of the American people—a voice of promise, grit, and determination.


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WTIU 1 (30.1)

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WTIU program listings

For more on the life of Ernie Pyle, check out
WFIU's podcast series The Ernie Pyle Experiment!

Support Comes From



With additional support from

The Ernie Pyle Documentary Fund
  • James Hodge
  • Jane McLeod
  • Owen V Johnson
  • Ernie Pyle Legacy Foundation
  • Glenda Murray
  • Ken McNamara
  • Anonymous
  • James H. Madison
  • Anonymous
  • Stephen Key
  • David H Weaver
  • Anonymous
  • Don and Kay Weaver
  • Jenny Stephens
  • Richard Paige
  • Susan McCammon
  • Michael Molenda
  • Martin Ronan
  • Charles Scudder
  • Robert Ford
  • Anonymous