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Hal Jackson

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Information about Hal Jackson

Profile image of Hal Jackson

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Personality
Sports Promoter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Carribean, Jamaican Food
Favorite Time of Year:
November
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
It Is Nice To Be Important, But It Is Important To Be Nice.

Birthplace

Born:
11/3/1914
Birth Location:
Charleston, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Personality
Sports Promoter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Carribean, Jamaican Food
Favorite Time of Year:
November
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
It Is Nice To Be Important, But It Is Important To Be Nice.

Birthplace

Born:
11/3/1914
Birth Location:
Charleston
See how Hal Jackson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born on November 3, 1914 in Charleston, South Carolina to Eugene Baron Jackson (a tailor) and Laura Rivers Jackson, Hal Jackson became one of the most important radio personalities of all time.

When Jackson was eight, his parents died within five months of each other. After living with his sisters and other relatives, he moved out on his own in 1928 - at the age of 13. Two years later, he moved north, settling in Washington, D.C. He attended Howard University, where his interests in sports and broadcasting grew. By the late 1930s, Jackson was an announcer for Howard University and Griffith Stadium.

In 1939, Jackson approached WINX in Washington, D.C. and proposed a radio show. Management flatly refused. Undeterred, Jackson purchased airtime through a wholesale buyer of radio. He interviewed pioneering African Americans during his talk and music program, highlighting achievements of the community. His show proved so popular that, within six months, Jackson was able to buy airtime and sell ads on three additional stations in different cities! Broadcasting live from each station, Jackson worked extremely long hours.

In the early 1940s, Jackson organized the Washington Bears. This black basketball team played against white local and professional teams and finished the 1942-43 season with a record of 66-0. He also began the Good Deed Club, which donated toys, money, books, and volunteers to hospitals and others. In the spring of 1949, Jackson's television variety show premiered. At the end of that year, he moved to New York with his radio show, "The House that Jack Built." By the mid-1950s, he was again working at multiple stations. As the first African American announcer on network radio, he attracted the largest radio audience in the world at that time. Jackson continued to succeed in television as well, hosting a Sunday morning children's show, Uncle Hal's Kids Show.

Through the years, Jackson's civic works became legendary. He used every opportunity to improve people's lives-from busing groups of underprivileged children to the Palisades Amusement Park, to establishing a scholarship fund for Howard University. He also began Hal Jackson's Talented Teens International, a scholarship competition that has impacted over 30,000 young women of color. Jackson used his position and popularity to agitate for civil rights and actively participated in numerous history-making events. The NAACP and the SCLC benefited from his fundraising efforts. In 1969, Jackson helped African American models gain recognition by hosting The Miss Black America Pageant. In 1971, Jackson and other African American entrepreneurs founded Inner City Broadcasting and bought stations all over the country.

Jackson has hosted "Sunday Classics," on New York radio station WBLS for over a decade. Jackson was the first African American inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame, and several U.S. Presidents have honored him with special achievement awards.

Bibliography:
Jackson, Hal. The House that Jack Built. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.

Hal Jackson passed away on May 23, 2012.

See how Hal Jackson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hal Jackson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Hal Jackson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Hal Jackson describes his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Hal Jackson describes his earliest memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Hal Jackson describes the deaths of both of his parents when he was eight years old
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Hal Jackson describes his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Hal Jackson describes his relationships to his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Hal Jackson describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Hal Jackson talks about attending Avery Normal Institute for elementary school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Hal Jackson describes living on his own means as a teenager in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Hal Jackson describes his experience at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Hal Jackson describes his decision to attend Howard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Hal Jackson reflects upon his relationships with his older sisters
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Hal Jackson describes getting his start in sports writing and announcing with Sam Lacey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Hal Jackson describes the first time he went on the air at WINX as a baseball announcer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Hal Jackson describes his early success in radio broadcasting, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Hal Jackson describes his early success in radio broadcasting, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Hal Jackson describes being a single parent to his daughter Jane
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Hal Jackson talks about meeting his second wife, Julia Hawkins
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Hal Jackson describes working with Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Hal Jackson describes the popularity of his WINX sports show
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Hal Jackson describes his experience as owner of the Washington Bears basketball team, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Hal Jackson describes his experience as owner of the Washington Bears basketball team, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Hal Jackson talks about some of the athletes who played with the Washington Bears
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Hal Jackson talks about why he left the Washington Bears
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Hal Jackson talks about two times he almost became the first black baseball announcer for a professional team
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Hal Jackson talks about his influences in broadcasting
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Hal Jackson talks about his experience with Richard Eaton at WOOK in Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Hal Jackson talks about his community involvement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Hal Jackson reflects upon the importance of humility
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Hal Jackson describes organizing the union for his coworkers at WOOK in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Hal Jackson describes launching 'The House that Jack Built' on television in 1949
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Hal Jackson describes adapting to television from radio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Hal Jackson describes his experience working for WABC, WMCA, and WLIB
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Hal Jackson talks about some of the musicians he met while working at Birdland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Hal Jackson describes his experiences living in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Hal Jackson remembers broadcasting live from the funeral of Bill Bojangles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Hal Jackson describes his friendship with Rose Morgan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Hal Jackson describes working with Parks Sausage founder Henry Parks
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Hal Jackson recalls his Sunday morning children's television broadcast 'Uncle Hal's Kiddie Show'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Hal Jackson talks about returning to WLIB in 1955 and purchasing the station with Percy Sutton in 1971
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Hal Jackson describes launching WHUR-FM at Howard University in 1971
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Hal Jackson describes his friendship with United States Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Hal Jackson describes meeting Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Hal Jackson describes being suspended from WLIB during the Payola scandal in the late 1950s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Hal Jackson describes radio personality Douglas "Jocko" Henderson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Hal Jackson describes Alan Freed and the payola scandal in the late 1950s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Hal Jackson describes his experience at the Palisades Amusement Park
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Hal Jackson talks about returning to radio after the payola scandal
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Hal Jackson talks about some of the acts he featured at the Palisades Amusement Park
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Hal Jackson talks about Motown Records founder Berry Gordy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Hal Jackson remembers his reaction to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Hal Jackson describes his involvement in creating a national holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Hal Jackson talks about hosting Miss Black America in 1969
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Hal Jackson describes starting his Talented Teen competition in 1971
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Hal Jackson describes hosting the first Miss Black Teenage America program in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Hal Jackson talks about some of the winners and performers on his Talented Teens International show
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Hal Jackson talks about founding the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation with Percy Sutton in 1971
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Hal Jackson talks about his current work with Talented Teens International and Inner City Broadcast Corporation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Hal Jackson reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Hal Jackson describes how it feels for him to get behind a microphone
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Hal Jackson reflects upon the progress of blacks in the communications industry during his lifetime
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Hal Jackson reflects upon how the communications industry enhanced his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Hal Jackson reflects upon his parents
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Hal Jackson narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Hal Jackson narrates his photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Hal Jackson narrates his photographs, pt. 3