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Louis Dinwiddie

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Information about Louis Dinwiddie

Profile image of Louis Dinwiddie

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Arizona
Favorite Quote:
A Broke Ass Will Break A Rich Ass Every Time.

Birthplace

Born:
10/29/1935
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Arizona
Favorite Quote:
A Broke Ass Will Break A Rich Ass Every Time.

Birthplace

Born:
10/29/1935
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how Louis Dinwiddie is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Pioneering radio broadcaster Louis Dinwiddie was born on October 29, 1935, in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up as an only child in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His father, James Arthur Dinwiddie, was a trumpet and saxophone player who traveled all over the country.

The only African American in his parochial school, Dinwiddie helped lead Central Catholic High School to a state championship in 1950. He spent four years in the United States Air Force after graduating and then moved back to Fort Wayne. After working in a steel mill for over six years, he sold insurance for Chicago Metropolitan Life. Enjoying sales, Dinwiddie moved into retail. He opened a clothing store in 1970 that successfully catered to both blacks and whites, selling trend-setting fashions for years. However, a bank denied him a loan to buy his fall merchandise, forcing Dinwiddie to close the shop.

The booming cable television industry inspired him to learn about cable radio and he entered the industry headfirst. The station's urban format included gospel music on Sunday mornings, blues on Saturday afternoons, heavy soul and news geared to an African American audience. In 1990, the station that Dinwiddie built from the ground up switched from cable to an FM frequency. WJFX continued to broadcast the original urban programming until 1999, when Dinwiddie sold it. Now retired, Dinwiddie still lives in Fort Wayne.

See how Louis Dinwiddie is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Louis Dinwiddie's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Louis Dinwiddie lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Louis Dinwiddie describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Louis Dinwiddie describes how his mother ended up in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Louis Dinwiddie shares stories from his father's days on the road as a musician
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about knowing little of his family heritage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about his father's career as a musician
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about his mother and his parents' separation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Louis Dinwiddie describes growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about attending Catholic schools
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about playing football at Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Louis Dinwiddie describes his experiences attending Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about his football scholarship to Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Louis Dinwiddie describes the influence of his football coach at Central Catholic High School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about his lack of role models or career aspirations during his youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Louis Dinwiddie reflects upon being a high school sports star
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Louis Dinwiddie describes why he joined the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Louis Dinwiddie describes his experiences serving in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about working in a steel mill after being discharged from the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about being an insurance salesman and opening a retail store in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Louis Dinwiddie describes his experiences working for a clothing store in Fort Wayne, Indiana, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Louis Dinwiddie describes his experiences working for a clothing store in Fort Wayne, Indiana, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Louis Dinwiddie describes his motivation to him to open his own clothing store, "Louie D's"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about his clothing store, "Louie D's"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about black businesses in Fort Wayne, Indiana during the 1970s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Louis Dinwiddie describes closing his clothing store and entering the cable radio industry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Louis Dinwiddie describes how he learned about the cable radio industry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Louis Dinwiddie describes how he started his cable radio station
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Louis Dinwiddie describes the support his cable radio station received from the black community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about boycotting one of his cable radio station's major advertisers, a Fort Wayne supermarket
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Louis Dinwiddie describes his cable radio station's program lineup
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about moving from cable radio to FM radio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Louis Dinwiddie describes the process of getting his FM radio station on the air, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Louis Dinwiddie describes the process of getting his FM radio station on the air, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about selling his FM radio station
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about the challenges of getting an urban radio station in a market like Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Louis Dinwiddie describes his FM radio station's community affairs programming
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Louis Dinwiddie comments on modern urban radio and well-known radio deejays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about his retirement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Louis Dinwiddie shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Louis Dinwiddie reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Louis Dinwiddie describes his mother's pride
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about the semi-pro softball team his mother played on
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Louis Dinwiddie talks about his family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Louis Dinwiddie narrates his photographs