The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Charles Thomas

Share on Social Media

Information about Charles Thomas

Profile image of Charles Thomas

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast journalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/3/1951
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast journalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/3/1951
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how Charles Thomas is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Broadcast journalist Charles Thomas was born on May 3, 1951 in Webster Groves, Missouri to Clarence and Oneida Thomas. He grew up in the St. Louis area and graduated with his B.A. degree from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism in 1973.

Upon graduation, Thomas was hired as a broadcast journalist, and worked as a reporter in Kansas City, Missouri before being hired at KGO-TV in San Francisco, California in 1978. In 1982, he was hired as a reporter for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Then, in 1986, Thomas joined WTAF-TV as a general assignment reporter until 1988, when he joined the ABC News bureau in St. Louis, Missouri as a Midwest correspondent. Thomas was then hired as a general assignment reporter by ABC 7 News in Chicago in 1991.

Thomas has worked for ABC 7 on the O.J. Simpson trials, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Rodney King trials, and the Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Championship. He has reported from Europe and Asia for ABC 7, and, in 2006, accompanied then U.S. Senator Barack Obama to Africa. In all, Thomas has traveled to every state in the United States and to five continents during his journalism career. In 2009, he was promoted to the position of political reporter at ABC 7.

Thomas has won two Emmy Awards for reporting: one in 1983, and another in 1992. He has been a member of Alpha Phi Alpha since 1969.

Thomas and his wife Maria live in downtown Chicago. They are the parents of two adult sons and one adult daughter.

Charles Thomas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 24, 2014.

See how Charles Thomas is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Thomas' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas describes his maternal family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes his maternal family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas describes his mother's childhood in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas describes his paternal great-grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas describes his paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas describes his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas talks about his maternal family ancestry and his father's limited understanding of race and ethnicity
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes his father's background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes which parent he takes after most
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas describes his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes growing up in Webster Grove, St. Louis, Missouri surrounded by his extended family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas describes his father's background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas talks about his father's family life during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas talks about his relationship with his paternal aunts and uncles
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas describes the sights, sounds and smells of Webster Groves, Missouri, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Charles Thomas remembers walking to high school in Webster Groves, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas describes the sights, sounds and smells of Webster Groves, Missouri, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas talks about his first job delivering the St. Louis Argus, Ebony magazine and Jet magazine to black communities in Webster Groves
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas remembers starting his first newspaper, The Hotline, in elementary school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about publishing The Dark Side, a paper serving Webster Groves High School's black community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas remembers organizing a walkout at Webster Groves High School in protest of a no-smoking policy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes Webster Groves, Missouri's socioeconomic demographic and how he used The Dark Side to influence a student government election
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas remembers being arrested for entering a Black Nationalist float in the Webster Groves Independence Day parade
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas describes starring in his high school production of 'A Raisin in the Sun,' and developing an interest in the dramatic arts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas talks about being accepted into the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and beginning his studies in the summer of 1969
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas remembers his fifth grade teacher Henry Givens, former president of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Charles Thomas describes the aftermath in St. Louis, Missouri following the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas describes the aftermath in St. Louis, Missouri following the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes his experience as an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about transferring to Forest Park Community College in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes transferring back to the University of Missouri and declaring a journalism major
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas remembers African American broadcast journalists in the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas talks about hosting a top forty radio station show as an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas recalls interviewing for his first full-time job in radio at KCMO Talk Radio out of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas talks about television reporting for KCMO-TV and covering the 1976 Republican National Convention
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas talks about meeting his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas describes going to KGO-TV in San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles Thomas describes covering a story about a shooter targeting interracial couples and being fired from KGO-TV, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas describes covering a story about a shooter targeting interracial couples and being fired from KGO TV, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes how he got to WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas remembers reporting a story about a BDSM-practicing couple for KGO-TV in San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes his experience as a reporter for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas talks about the 1985 MOVE bombing and police riot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes his experience as a reporter for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas talks about briefly becoming a weekend anchor person at WTAF-TV and developing Thomas Productions freelance reporting company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas describes how he got to ABC network
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas talks about influential black figures in journalism, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas talks about influential black figures in journalism, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles Thomas talks about his limited involvement in the National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Charles Thomas talks about HistoryMaker Vernon Jarrett's legacy in journalism
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Thomas' interview, session two
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes joining the ABC News Midwest bureau as a national correspondent in 1988
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about his father's ALS diagnosis
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about buying a house in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas talks about life lessons he learned from his father
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes his tenure as an ABC News national correspondent
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas talks about other African American journalists at ABC News network during his tenure
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas talks about the 1989 ABC News special 'Black in White America'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas remembers a production meeting of HistoryMaker Carole Simpson and talks about codeswitching
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas talks about diversity and programming in network television
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes his coverage of the Velvet Revolution in Europe in 1989
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas describes his observations of anti-Semitism on-assignment in Europe
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes how his duties as national correspondent for the ABC network adversely affected his family life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas talks about choosing not to relocate to Los Angeles, California bureau
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas talks about joining WLS-TV in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas talks about his family's adjustment to relocating to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas describes an aggressive climate of political reporting in Chicago, Illinois in the 1980s and 1990s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas talks about his coverage of the Rodney King trial and riots in Los Angeles, California in 1992
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about his coverage of the O.J. Simpson investigation and trial in 1994, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about his coverage of the O.J. Simpson investigation and trial in 1994, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas remembers doing an investigative report on alcoholism in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes covering homicides and gang activity in Chicago, Illinois in the 1990s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas critiques former Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration and its relationship to black communities in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas critiques former Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration and its relationship to black communities in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas remembers the 2003 Duff scandal involving Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about former Chicago mayor Harold Washington's legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about contemporary race relations in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas describes his plans for the next phase of his career
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes winning an Emmy for coverage of the 1983 recession in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas describes winning an Emmy for coverage of the 1983 recession in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas talks about his preference for reporting over anchoring
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas considers what he would have done differently in his life
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas describes his hopes and concerns for contemporary journalists of color
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas lists his favorite political reporters
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about Chicago politicians he's developed strong ties with, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about Chicago politicians he's developed strong ties with, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas remembers meeting with HistoryMaker President Barack Obama while covering Rahm Emanuel's departure as chief of staff
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas talks about his family
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas describes traveling with HistoryMaker President Barack Obama on his trip to Kenya in 2006
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas describes how he would like to be remembered