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Joseph Donovan

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Information about Joseph Donovan

Profile image of Joseph Donovan

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Author
Television and Radio Correspondent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Tell It Like It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
3/29/1936
Birth Location:
Camden, New Jersey

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Author
Television and Radio Correspondent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Tell It Like It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
3/29/1936
Birth Location:
Camden
See how Joseph Donovan is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist Joe Donovan was born Joseph James Donovan on March 29, 1936, in Camden, New Jersey, to Willie Virginia Jones and Phillip James Donovan. Donovan grew up in rural Chislehurst and attended Chislehurst School, Belmont Elementary School, Sulzberger Junior High School and Edward Bok Vocational Technical High School, from which he graduated in 1954. In October of 1955, Donovan enlisted in the United States Air Force, and by 1959 he had been promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. Leaving the military in 1960, Donovan, after he was refused admittance to Temple University, returned to Edward Bok High School and enrolled in cartography and photography.

In 1960, Donovan was hired as a librarian at the Philadelphia Daily News. In 1963, Donovan worked as a background writer for a story on the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba; six months later he replaced the newspaper’s only African American reporter. In 1970, Donovan joined the staff of KYW News Radio and covered George Wallace’s speech in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. Donovan also co-hosted Black Edition with Malcolm Poindexter in 1970. In 1972, Donovan began to appear with Reggie Bryant on the television show Black Perspectives on the News. In 1976, Donovan was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship and wrote the critique of the public education system Why Can’t Johnny Read?

From 1978 to 1980, Donovan served as assignment manager for CBS affiliate WCAU-TV10. In 1979, Donovan covered the Three Mile Island nuclear emergency, and in 1980, he received the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in electronic journalism. That same year, Donovan left CBS and joined the Environmental Protection Agency as Regional Superfund Information officer. From 1990 to 2000, Donovan was employed by Waste Management, Inc; he was the first African American at the Lisle, Illinois, corporate headquarters, where he served as corporate director of community relations. Donovan was also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Donovan passed away on February 26, 2009 at the age of 72.

See how Joseph Donovan is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Donovan's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Donovan talks about his mother's side of the family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Donovan describes his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Donovan talks about his father's side of the family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Donovan describes his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Donovan describes his paternal family's involvement in the Underground Railroad
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Donovan describes his father's background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan describes his paternal grandfather's work as a truck farmer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan talks about his father's employment at Scott Paper Company during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Donovan describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Donovan describes his parents' personalities and whom he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Donovan describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Donovan describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Donovan describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Donovan describes his relationship to his sisters
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph Donovan remembers his neighbors in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joseph Donovan recalls businesses in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Joseph Donovan remembers churches he attended growing up
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan remembers visiting Woodside Amusement Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan talks about his early interest in engineering
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Donovan talks about his exposure to music growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Donovan describes his elementary and junior high school experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Donovan remembers his early interest in the media
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Donovan explains why he attended Edward Bok Vocational School in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Donovan remembers learning optical mechanics and watchmaking at Edward Bok Vocational School in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Donovan describes his employment while attending Edward Bok Vocational School in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph Donovan remembers his employment search after graduating from Edward Bok Vocational School in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan remembers working as an optician
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan remembers racial discrimination in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Donovan describes his experience at Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Donovan describes his experience at Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Donovan describes his studies after delisting from the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Donovan describes the real estate industry's blockbusting practices
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Donovan remembers his 1960 hiring as a display advertiser for the Philadelphia Daily News
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph Donovan describes working in display advertising at the Philadelphia Daily News
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan describes his transition to the Philadelphia Daily News' editorial staff
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan describes his role as police reporter for Philadelphia Daily News
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Donovan remembers working at KYW Radio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Donovan remembers the Black Communicators Associated, Inc. in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Donovan describes the Association of Black Journalists' founding
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Donovan reflects upon issues facing African American journalists in the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Donovan describes the impact of African American journalists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph Donovan describes the development of African American professional organizations in the 20th century
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan describes the founding members of the Association of Black Journalists, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan describes the founding members of the Association of Black Journalists, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Donovan remembers the impact of the Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Donovan talks about HistoryMaker Chuck Stone
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joseph Donovan recalls receiving an Edwin R. Murrow Award in broadcast journalism
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joseph Donovan describes challenges faced by African American journalists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joseph Donovan remembers the fallout when a colleague rewrote his quotes
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joseph Donovan remembers Frank Rizzo's view of Philadelphia journalists
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan describes the Association of Black Journalists' accomplishments
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan remembers HistoryMakers Vernon Jarrett, Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II and Paul Brock
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joseph Donovan describes the Association of Black Journalists and others' view of it
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joseph Donovan remembers 'Black Perspectives on the News,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joseph Donovan remembers 'Black Perspectives on the News,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Joseph Donovan describes the national impact of 'Black Perspectives on the News'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Joseph Donovan describes the evolution of black journalism from the 1970s
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Joseph Donovan describes co-hosting 'Black Edition' with Malcolm Poindexter
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Joseph Donovan describes the impact of the FCC's revised rules on black news shows
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan talks about Bill Cosby and the role of the 400 Ministers organization in his hiring
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan describes Philadelphia Daily News' increased coverage of African American issues
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Joseph Donovan details his career in the 1970s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Joseph Donovan describes his work at the EPA Superfund
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Joseph Donovan describes his transition from broadcasting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Joseph Donovan describes his work at the EPA in the 1980s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Joseph Donovan describes his work as director of community relations for Waste Management, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Joseph Donovan describes his hopes for the African American community and reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Joseph Donovan reflects upon his legacy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Joseph Donovan reflects upon his legacy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Joseph Donovan talks about his unpublished work, 'The Magic Word'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Joseph Donovan narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Joseph Donovan narrates his photographs, pt. 2