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Renee Ferguson

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Information about Renee Ferguson

Profile image of Renee Ferguson

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Chitterlings
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Wear The World As A Loose Garment.

Birthplace

Born:
8/22/1949
Birth Location:
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Chitterlings
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Wear The World As A Loose Garment.

Birthplace

Born:
8/22/1949
Birth Location:
Oklahoma City
See how Renee Ferguson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

TV journalist and investigative reporter Renee Ferguson was born on August 22, 1949 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Eugene and Mary Ferguson. Attending Edwards Elementary School, Ferguson graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1967. At Indiana University, she covered the student unrest at Jackson State and Kent State Universities and worked as a Washington Post student intern during the summer of 1970. Ferguson earned her B.S. degree in journalism in 1971.

Ferguson worked in Indianapolis, Indiana as a writer for the Indianapolis Star newspaper and then as a news reporter for television station WLWI-TV. When she joined Chicago’s WBBM-TV in 1977, she became the first African American woman to work as an investigative reporter in Chicago. In 1980, she worked as a network news correspondent for CBS News in New York City and Atlanta. Ferguson returned to Chicago in 1987, joining the UNIT 5 investigative team at NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV.

Ferguson has reported on many issues including strip searches of women of color at O’Hare Airport by United States Customs officials; sexual harassment at Chicago’s Ford Motor Plant; the deaths of children involved in a clinical drug trial; a high school undercover investigation of drug and alcohol abuse and gun and drug sales held in the property room of the Gary, Indiana police department.

A recipient of seven Chicago Emmy Awards, the DuPont Award, the Gracie Award, the Associated Press Award for Best Investigative Reporting and many other accolades, Ferguson lives with her husband Ken Smikle and their son in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood.

See how Renee Ferguson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Renee Ferguson's interview, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Renee Ferguson's interview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson lists her favorites, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson lists her favorites, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson describes her view of French nationalism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson lists her favorite phrase
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson talks about her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Renee Ferguson talks about taking care of her great-aunt, Hattie Brown
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Renee Ferguson talks about her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Renee Ferguson talks about the uncertainty surrounding her father's birth date
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Renee Ferguson talks about her father's family ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Renee Ferguson talks about her paternal grandfather's lost land in California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Renee Ferguson talks about how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Renee Ferguson describes her parents' personalities and her likeness to them
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson talks about growing up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson remembers fighting in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson describes unpleasant smells in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson describes her childhood house
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson talks about her childhood social life and her high school prom night
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Renee Ferguson talks about being a member of the Methodist church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Renee Ferguson talks about the role of music and television in her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Renee Ferguson talks about her interest in journalism, ethical journalism and what makes journalism enjoyable
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Renee Ferguson describes newspapers she read as a child
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Renee Ferguson talks about Edwards Elementary School, Moon Junior High School and Douglass High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson talks about Willard Pitts, her mentor in journalism, and working at the Daily Oklahoman
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson talks about civil rights activity in 1960s Oklahoma City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson describes deciding to become a journalist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson describes deciding to transition into broadcast journalism after college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson describes her experience as an undergraduate student at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Renee Ferguson describes working for the Daily Herald-Telephone, the Indiana Daily Student and Indiana University's public relations department
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Renee Ferguson describes her social life as an undergraduate student at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Renee Ferguson describes her interview for an internship with The Washington Post
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Renee Ferguson describes her experience as an intern in the editorial department at The Washington Post
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson describes working with journalist Robert C. Maynard at The Washington Post
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson describes the role of conflict in journalism
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson describes the influence of Washington Post editor Philip Geyelin and journalist Meg Greenfield
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson describes her experience at Indianapolis News after graduation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson talks about joining WLWI-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Renee Ferguson talks about refusing to straighten her hair at WLWI television
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Renee Ferguson talks about covering the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Renee Ferguson describes the political climate in 1970s Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson talks about covering the United States Border Patrol
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson responds to an inquiry about broadcast circulation through WLWI
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson talks about being hired at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois and going undercover as a high school student
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson continues to describe going undercover as a high school student
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson describes undercover journalism
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Renee Ferguson talks about her expose of teacher and HistoryMaker Marva Collins, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Renee Ferguson talks about her expose of teacher and HistoryMaker Marva Collins, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Renee Ferguson describes the aftermath following her expose of HistoryMaker Marva Collins
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Renee Ferguson talks about political corruption in 1970s Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson describes leaving WBBM CBS TV Chicago for CBS National news in 1981 and meeting her husband, HistoryMaker Ken Smikle
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson describes working for CBS National News on CBS Sunday Morning in New York City
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson talks about Mayor Harold Washington's legacy and death in 1987, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson talks about Mayor Harold Washington's legacy and death in 1987, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson talks about Mayor Harold Washington's legacy and death in 1987, pt. 3
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Second slating of Renee Ferguson's interview
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Renee Ferguson talks about her frustrations working as a general assignment reporter
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson describes fighting to become an investigative reporter at WMAQ-TV, NBC 5 Chicago
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson describes endorsements she received in support of her promotion from HistoryMakers Carol Mosley Braun and Reverend Jesse Jackson
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson talks about her prize-winning investigation of O'Hare International Airport Customs strip-searching black women, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson talks about her prize-winning investigation of O'Hare International Airport Customs strip-searching black women, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson describes her career in investigative journalism, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Renee Ferguson describes her career in investigative reporting, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Renee Ferguson describes her reporting style and the stories that interested her
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson talks about misconduct in the Chicago Police Department
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson talks about drug smuggling procedures
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson describes her future goals
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson describes the fiction reading and writing she enjoys
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson describes her reporting philosophy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Renee Ferguson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American demographic
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Renee Ferguson imagines a racism-free future
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Renee Ferguson considers what she may have done differently
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Renee Ferguson talks about her independent research on chondrocalcinosis
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Renee Ferguson talks about having an experimental procedure done to manage her chondrocalcinosis
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Renee Ferguson considers her legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Renee Ferguson talks about her family
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Renee Ferguson urges young people to consider careers in socially productive journalism
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Renee Ferguson talks about her relationship with the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization and the National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Renee Ferguson describes how she would like to be remembered