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Iola Johnson

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Information about Iola Johnson

Profile image of Iola Johnson

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television News Anchor
Television Host

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Mexican Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii, Italy
Favorite Quote:
God Doesn't Make Mistakes.

Birthplace

Born:
10/10/1950
Birth Location:
Texarkana, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television News Anchor
Television Host

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Mexican Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii, Italy
Favorite Quote:
God Doesn't Make Mistakes.

Birthplace

Born:
10/10/1950
Birth Location:
Texarkana
See how Iola Johnson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Iola Vivian Johnson was born on October 10, 1950, in Texarkana, Arkansas, to Horace and Eurea Lee Johnson. Her father was a respected land owner and rancher. Johnson’s family moved to a predominantly white neighborhood Tucson, Arizona, when she was four years old. She attended Mills Elementary School and Mansfield Junior High School. Johnson graduated from Tucson High School in 1968 and attended the University of Arizona. She has degrees in political science and journalism.

Johnson was the first woman and the first African American to write for the ten o’clock news for the NBC affiliate KBOA in Tucson, Arizona. In 1973, Johnson was approached to take a position with WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas. She worked her way to becoming the first woman and the first black news anchor in Dallas. Johnson worked for WFAA-TV for more than 12 years, where she and co-anchor Tracy Rowlett had the longest running and most successful news anchor team in the history of the Dallas-Fort Worth television industry. Johnson became the highest paid local news anchor and the “Most Popular Woman in Dallas” according to Dallas Magazine.

Johnson left her job at the television station in 1984 to start her own business. A couple of years later, Johnson became the morning news anchor at radio station KKDA in Dallas, after spending a year in St. Louis, Missouri. She reappeared on television in 1990, where she once again teamed up with Tracy Rowlett, this time at the CBS affiliate in Dallas. She later became the host of a weekly community affairs show, Positively Texas on KTVT-TV in Dallas.

Johnson has been recognized numerous times for her excellence in journalism. She also received the Life Time Achievement Award from the Dallas-Forth Worth Association of Black Communicators.

See how Iola Johnson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Iola Johnson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Iola Johnson lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Iola Johnson describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Iola Johnson describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Iola Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Iola Johnson recalls how her parents met and had their children
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Iola Johnson talks about her maternal family's history of landownership
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Iola Johnson lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Iola Johnson describes her experiences in elementary school in Tucson, Arizona
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Iola Johnson describes her personality during childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Iola Johnson describes the role of religion in her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Iola Johnson recalls her favorite childhood extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Iola Johnson describes holidays in her childhood household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Iola Johnson recalls her experiences at Tucson's Mansfeld Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Iola Johnson describes the demographics of Mansfeld Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Iola Johnson recalls how she was influenced by the events of the 1960s, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Iola Johnson recalls how she was influenced by the events of the 1960s, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Iola Johnson describes her experiences at Tucson High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Iola Johnson recalls working full-time while attending college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Iola Johnson recalls her job at the telephone company in Tucson, Arizona
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Iola Johnson describes her experiences at the University of Arizona in Tucson
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Iola Johnson describes the African American community at the University of Arizona
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Iola Johnson recalls her start in the television news industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Iola Johnson recalls becoming a local news anchor in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Iola Johnson describes challenges as an African American female news anchor
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Iola Johnson recalls leaving television news to start her own business
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Iola Johnson describes returning to work in television news in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Iola Johnson recalls leaving KTVT-TV in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Iola Johnson describes her family life and love of horses
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Iola Johnson describes her mother's career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Iola Johnson describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Iola Johnson offers advice to those considering a career in journalism
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Iola Johnson recalls reporting on the refugee crisis in East Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Iola Johnson narrates her photographs