Billy Don Moyers was born in Hugo, Oklahoma, June 5, 1934, the son of John Henry and Ruby Johnson Moyers. He grew up in Marshall, Texas, graduating from the public schools of that city. He attended North Texas State College in Denton, Texas, for two years, then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, from which he received a bachelor's degree in Journalism with honors in 1956. During the academic year 1956-1957, he studied at the University of Edinburgh as a Rotary International Fellow. In fall 1957 he enrolled in the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at Fort Worth, Texas, where he spent the next two years. He received his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1959 and had agreed to teach Christian ethics at Baylor University when Senator Lyndon B. Johnson offered him a job in Washington. Moyers went to Washington to serve as personal assistant to Johnson (he had worked for the Senator as a summer employee in 1954). He soon became executive assistant, directing Johnson's vice presidential campaign in 1960 and acting as liaison with the Kennedy staff. He left Johnson in 1961 for the Peace Corps, where he held the positions of associate director (1961-1963) and deputy director (1963-1964).
After the assassination of President Kennedy, Moyers left the Peace Corps to join President Johnson's staff as special assistant. He played a key role in organizing and supervising the 1964 Great Society task forces and was a principal architect of Johnson's 1964 presidential campaign. When Walter Jenkins resigned from Johnson's staff in October 1964, Moyers became the President's chief of staff; in July 1965, he also assumed the duties of White House Press Secretary, and continued in this dual role until he departed the White House in January 1967 to become publisher of Newsday.
Moyers left Newsday in 1970, traveled around the country, and wrote Listening to America; A Traveler Rediscovers His Country, which was published in 1971. From 1970-1976 he served as editor-in-chief of "Bill Moyers' Journal," an award-winning program on public television. Moyers joined CBS in 1976, where he has acted as editor and chief correspondent of "CBS Reports" and has taken part in various other projects and programs. Moyers has been an Arthur Morse Fellow at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, a member of the Council on Foreign Affairs, a member of the Board of Visitors of the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, and a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation's International Social Research Institute. He has won an Emmy award, a George Peabody award, a Ralph Lowell medal, and the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel award.