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Joseph Dyer

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Information about Joseph Dyer

Profile image of Joseph Dyer

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast Executive
Television Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Success Is Nothing More Than A Rendezvous Between Preparation And Opportunity.

Birthplace

Born:
9/24/1934
Birth Location:
Gilbert, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast Executive
Television Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Success Is Nothing More Than A Rendezvous Between Preparation And Opportunity.

Birthplace

Born:
9/24/1934
Birth Location:
Gilbert
See how Joseph Dyer is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

The first African American to work as a television reporter and executive in the Los Angeles community, Joseph Dyer was born in Gilbert, Louisiana, on September 24, 1934. The son of sharecroppers, Dyer’s father passed away while he was still a child, and by the age of ten, Dyer was picking cotton in the fields with his deaf mother. After graduating from high school in 1953, he attended Xavier University for one year on a football scholarship before transferring to Grambling State University, where he earned his B.A. degree in speech and drama in 1957.

Upon graduating, Dyer moved to Los Angeles, but was called into military service within a month. While in the Air Force, he was stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, where he became the editor of the base paper and later the host of the base television program. After being honorably discharged in 1961, Dyer returned to Los Angeles, while his wife and daughter remained in Mississippi. He was hired as a technical writer at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory shortly after his return to Southern California. While working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dyer joined Studio West, an artist’s enclave where he met individuals such as Greg Morris of Mission: Impossible, jazz singer Rita Morris and Cassius Weathersby, who at the time was serving as head of the Labor and Industry Committee for the Beverly Hills NAACP. It was Weathersby who convinced Dyer to apply for a position with CBS-2, Los Angeles’ largest television news station at the time. In April of 1965, Dyer was hired on a probationary contract as a writer and news producer.

In August of 1965, riots broke out in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, and Dyer was able to play a critical role. He would call in live phone reports during “The Big News,” and he landed interviews with a number of key community leaders at the time, including Maulana Karenga. His career as a reporter featured a number of other interview highlights, including an exclusive interview with Muhammad Ali following the boxer being stripped of his title for refusing to fight in Vietnam.

In 1968, Dyer became the first African American executive in network news when he was named director of community affairs for CBS-2. In this role, he helped to promote diversity within the station and promote the station in the community. This position was not without stress, however, and Dyer became a long-distance runner. He would eventually compete in the Los Angeles Marathon. At the time of his retirement, Dyer had spent more than thirty years with CBS-2.

Dyer has been recognized numerous times for his contributions to the community, and he has also successfully battled prostate cancer. He and his wife, high-school sweetheart Doris Dillon, have four children.

Joseph Dyer was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 23, 2004.

Dyer passed away on 02/24/2011.

See how Joseph Dyer is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Dyer's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Dyer lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Dyer describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Dyer describes the efforts of his mother, Barbara Parker Brooks, to overcome her hearing impediment
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Dyer describes growing up in Bogalusa, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Dyer talks about his memories of his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Dyer briefly lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Dyer describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Dyer describes his experiences at Central Memorial High School in Bogalusa, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joseph Dyer talks about how his southern roots fostered his future ambitions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Dyer describes the town of Bogalusa, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Dyer describes the sights, sounds and smells of Bogalusa, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Dyer talks about picking cotton as a child in Bogalusa, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Dyer describes his childhood personality in Bogalusa, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Dyer describes the famous African American figures who were his childhood role models
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Dyer describes how members of the community in Bogalusa, Louisiana supported his education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Dyer talks about his mother's hopes for his career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Dyer describes his experiences at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph Dyer describes his experiences at Grambling College in Grambling, Louisiana, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Dyer describes his experiences at Grambling College in Grambling, Louisiana, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Dyer describes his experiences in the theatre department at Grambling College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Dyer shares a memory of dancing to the music of HistoryMaker B.B. King
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Dyer talks about the libraries at Xavier University of Louisiana and Grambling College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Dyer reflects upon the experience of attending a historically black college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Dyer talks about his service in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Dyer describes the beginning of his broadcasting career in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Dyer describes the events leading up to the Watts riots of Los Angeles in 1965
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Dyer describes his personal experience reporting on the Watts riots in Los Angeles in 1965
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Dyer talks about the response of police and fire departments to the Watts riots of 1965
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Dyer describes working on the senior management team at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Dyer talks about controversies over Hispanic representation at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Dyer describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Maulana Karenga
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Dyer describes his surprise encounter with his former Xavier University classmate, HistoryMaker Warner Saunders
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Dyer talks about interviewing Muhammad Ali for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Dyer talks about interviewing Governor George Wallace, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Dyer talks about interviewing Governor George Wallace, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Dyer talks about the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Dyer describes controversies during his time as a reporter at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Dyer reflects on the lessons of his tenure as a reporter for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Dyer talks about HistoryMaker Johnathan Rodgers and speculates about the success of TV One
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Dyer talks about the career of Los Angeles, California Mayor Tom Bradley
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Dyer considers the legacy of Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Dyer talks about the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California in 1992
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joseph Dyer talks about the trial of O.J. Simpson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joseph Dyer describes his activities with the National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joseph Dyer reflects on changes to the journalism industry in recent decades
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joseph Dyer talks about the opportunities for African American news anchors
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joseph Dyer talks about writing his memoir
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joseph Dyer describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joseph Dyer describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joseph Dyer reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joseph Dyer narrates his photographs