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

June Cross

Share on Social Media

Information about June Cross

Profile image of June Cross

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Producer
Journalism Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
All Colors
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Give me a break.

Birthplace

Born:
1/5/1954
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Producer
Journalism Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
All Colors
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Give me a break.

Birthplace

Born:
1/5/1954
Birth Location:
New York
See how June Cross is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Television producer and journalism professor June Cross was born on Month Day, 1954 in New York to Norma Greve and Jimmy Cross. Norma Greve was an aspiring white actress and Jimmy Cross was a black vaudeville entertainer, known for playing “Stump” as a part of the black song-and-dance team “Stump and Stumpy”. At the age of four, when June could no longer “pass” as “looking white,” she was sent to live with her mother’s black friends, Peggy and Paul Bush, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Cross spent her holidays and summers visiting with her mother in New York and later in California, after she married Larry Storch, well-known actor of a number of 1960’s sitcoms. Given the racial tensions of the time and the Hollywood spotlight of Norma Storch’s world, June Cross would always be introduced as a niece or an adopted child.

June Cross became interested in reporting at a young age, thrilled by the aspect of asking strangers questions. She attended Radcliffe College and received her B.A. degree in 1975. After graduating, she worked at a number of prominent news sources, including the Boston Globe, CBS News, the MacNeil/Lehrer Report, and Frontline, covering various stories. In 1983, she won an Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Single Breaking News Story about the U.S. invasion of Grenada. Cross received senior producer credit for Living on the Edge, Mandela, and School Colors, which won the DuPont-Columbia Journalism Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

June Cross is best known for her documentary about the trauma of her childhood, Secret Daughter: A Mixed Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away, released by PBS in 1996. This was the first time it was publicly revealed that June Cross was the daughter of Norma Storch. The documentary won an Emmy as well as a DuPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. A few years later, Secret Daughter was turned into a memoir. In 2000, June Cross accepted a teaching position with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She continued to produce a number of captivating reports, including The Old Man and the Storm about a family living in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She lives in New York with her husband Waldon Ricks and their two cats.
June Cross was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 30, 2012.

See how June Cross is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of June Cross' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - June Cross lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - June Cross describes her maternal family's history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - June Cross talks about her mother, Norma Greve Storch
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - June Cross talks about her mother's first pregnancy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - June Cross talks about her mother's relationship with Larry Storch
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - June Cross talks about her paternal family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about her father, James "Jimmy" Cross' dancing career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - June Cross describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - June Cross talks about her parents' relationship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - June Cross describes the end of her parent's relationship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - June Cross talks about being taken in by Paul and Peggy Bush in Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - June Cross talks about her birth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - June Cross describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - June Cross describes childhood memories and her move from New York to Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - June Cross describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about her relationship with the Bush and Gregory families in Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - June Cross describes her memories of Atlantic City, New Jersey and visiting her mother in New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - June Cross describes her personal connections to Atlantic City, New Jersey and New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - June Cross describes the family background of Peggy Bush, who informally adopted her
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - June Cross talks about the Bush family, who informally adopted her
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - June Cross describes her childhood education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - June Cross describes her love for reading and writing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - June Cross talks about learning about the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - June Cross describes her relationship with her mother, Norma Greve Storch
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - June Cross describes her mother and Peggy Bush's roles in her upbringing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - June Cross describes the experience of having "black hair"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about Larry Storch's eyelid surgery and its impact on his acting career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - June Cross talks about her Dominican perm and a Clorox pool
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - June Cross describes puberty and having to wear a girdle
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - June Cross talks about her mentor/teachers at Atlantic City High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - June Cross talks about her senior year at Atlantic City High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - June Cross talks about a photo she took with her mother, Norma Greve Storch and her new husband, Larry Storch
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - June Cross describes her relationship with her father, James "Jimmy" Cross.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - June Cross describes her decision to apply to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - June Cross talks about graduating from Atlantic City High School and her summer jobs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - June Cross describes her experience at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about her difficulty adjusting to Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - June Cross talks about getting rejected by the Harvard Crimson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - June Cross talks about racial discrimination and academic challenges at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - June Cross talks about her college internship at WGBH with "Say Brother" producer Topper Carew
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - June Cross describes why she decided to become a journalist
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - June Cross describes being nurtured by black professionals in journalism after graduating from Harvard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - June Cross talks about getting hired as a reporter for the MacNeil/Lehrer Report
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - June Cross describes her work at the MacNeil/Lehrer Report
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - June Cross describes the deaths of her father and her adopted mother and her work at the MacNeil/Lehrer Report
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about her promotion to producer
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - June Cross describes her coverage of the 1983 Invasion of Grenada
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - June Cross talks about winning an Emmy in 1983
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - June Cross briefly describes her experience with sexual violence at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts and her ability to handle adversities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - June Cross talks about a failed attempt to start a union at the McNeil/ Lehrer NewsHour and working on the 1984 presidential campaign
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - June Cross describes her journalistic philosophy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - June Cross describes her work on CBS' "West 57th" and correspondent Connie Chung
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - June Cross describes her brief tenure at CBS News
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - June Cross describes being hired to work on Frontline
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - June Cross describes her work at Frontline
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - June Cross talks about the story "A Kid Kills" and her work leading up to "Secret Daughter"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - June Cross talks about her efforts to document white perspectives on race
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - June Cross talks about recruiting her mother to interview for "Secret Daughter"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - June Cross talks about "The Confessions of Rosa Lee"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - June Cross talks about the production of her documentary, "Secret Daughter"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - June Cross talks about interviewing her mother and learning of her past as a prostitute
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - June Cross talks about meeting her half-sister Candace Herman after the airing of "Secret Daughter"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - June Cross reflects upon how "Secret Daughter" changed her life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - June Cross talks about meeting relatives on her father's side
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - June Cross recounts how she started teaching at Columbia University in New York City
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - June Cross talks about her memoir and her mother's death
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - June Cross talks about Henry Hampton's death and working at Blackside, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - June Cross talks about Blackside, Inc.'s financial difficulties
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - June Cross talks about her documentary, "This Far by Faith"
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - June Cross describes the impact of creating her book and documentary
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of June Cross' interview
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - June Cross talks about her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - June Cross describes her paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - June Cross talks about finishing her documentary "This Far by Faith"
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - June Cross describes finding the ending to her book following her mother's death
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - June Cross talks about producing a documentary about Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - June Cross describes her film on HIV in the rural South
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about the religious community's response to HIV
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - June Cross describes the conservative culture of rural South Carolina
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - June Cross talks about how the field of documentary production has changed
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - June Cross describes the research process for making her documentary on HIV in South Carolina, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - June Cross describes the research process for making her documentary on HIV in South Carolina, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - June Cross talks about the high production costs of documentaries
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - June Cross describes producing "Showdown in Haiti" for Frontline
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - June Cross describes the crew needed to produce one of her documentaries
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - June Cross talks about her documentary, "Secret Daughter"
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - June Cross talks about her documentary, "Confessions of Rosa Lee", pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about her documentary, "Confessions of Rosa Lee," pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - June Cross June Cross talks about her documentary "Confessions of Rosa Lee", pt. 3
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - June Cross shares her views on journalistic credibility
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - June Cross talks about the line between fiction and nonfiction in filmmaking
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - June Cross describes her journalistic philosophy
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - June Cross describes the economic hardships faced by some people in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - June Cross talks about her choice between pursuing a documentary on Detroit, Michigan and the Romare Bearden exhibit at Columbia University
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - June Cross talks about her interest in the Black Power Movement and lack of funding for documentaries on controversial topics
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about the lack of funding for documentaries on controversial topics
  • Tape: 11 Story: 9 - June Cross shares her regret for not allowing her book "Secret Daughter" to be made into an HBO movie
  • Tape: 11 Story: 10 - June Cross compares her struggle for identity to President Barack Obama's life story
  • Tape: 11 Story: 11 - June Cross describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - June Cross talks about why the role of Peggy Bush was minimized in her documentary "Secret Daughter"
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - June Cross comments on the lack of diversity in media representations of people of color
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - June Cross talks about the difficulty of archiving and preserving online data and images
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - June Cross talks about legal and ethical issues with documentary subjects
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - June Cross reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - June Cross talks about her desire to produce a documentary on Pakistan
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - June Cross talks about her family
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - June Cross talks about being a black professor at Columbia University in New York City
  • Tape: 12 Story: 9 - June Cross talks about generational differences in black college students
  • Tape: 12 Story: 10 - June Cross talks about her involvement with organizations
  • Tape: 12 Story: 11 - June Cross describes how she would like to be remembered