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Barbara Rodgers

Television news anchor Barbara Rodgers was born on September 27, 1946 in Knoxville, Tennessee to Anna Connor, a homemaker, and Jackson Rodgers, a minister. In 1968, she received her B.S. degree in business education from Knoxville College. She attended graduate school at SUNY Buffalo in 1976 for creative writing, and also completed graduate coursework at the University of Chicago in 1986.

The Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York hired Rodgers in 1968 as a computer programmer, one of only a few African American female computer programmers at the time. Rodgers later became a public affairs researcher for Kodak, before becoming an instructor and department head of the business skills department of the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center in 1971. In 1972, Rodgers joined WOKR-TV in Rochester, New York where she became the station’s first female news reporter and first African American news anchor. Rodgers joined KPIX-TV, a CBS affiliate in San Francisco, California in 1979 as a reporter, later becoming a co-anchor on the weekend and noon Eyewitness News broadcasts. She helped to create and host Bay Sunday in 1989, an award-winning public affairs program. She co-founded the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA), the Bay Area chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, in 1982. In 1985, Rodgers was selected for the William Benton Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago, the first African American woman to become a Benton Fellow. Rodgers was chosen in 1993 as one of five journalists to participate in the South Africa Journalists Exchange, a collaboration between the National Association of Black Journalists, the Freedom Forum and South Africa. She earned an Emmy for her hour-long documentary, “South Africa After Apartheid.” Rodgers retired from KPIX in 2008. In 2010, she joined Comcast as a regular host on Comcast Newsmakers, and in 2011 became host of the “Bronze Report” cable show. Rodgers co-founded Friends of Faith, Inc., an organization that helps provide information and financial support to low income and underinsured individuals undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Rodgers received numerous honors and awards for her work. She won seven Emmy Awards and the Governors’ Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 1992, she was selected by the San Francisco League of Women Voters as a “Woman Who Could Be President.” Between 1981 and 2007, she won five “Excellence in Journalism Awards” from the National Association of Black Journalists, and was awarded the Madam C.J. Walker Pioneer Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 2004. Rodgers received the Frederick D. Patterson Outstanding Individual Award from the United Negro College Fund in 2008, and was recognized twice by American Women in Radio and Television, Inc. for her outstanding work in broadcasting.

Barbara Rodgers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 15, 2015.

Accession Number

A2015.007

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/15/2015

Last Name

Rodgers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

University of Chicago

Austin-East Magnet High School

Knoxville College

Lyons View School

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Knoxville

HM ID

ROD05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Never Let Anyone Define Your Reality.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/27/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Mom's Chicken And Dumplings.

Short Description

Television news anchor Barbara Rodgers (1946 - ) was an anchor for KPIX-TV in San Francisco, California for thirty years, and co-founded the Bay Area Black Journalist Association.

Employment

The Bronze Report

Comcast Newsmakers

KPIX-TV/CBS 5 San Francisco

WOKR-TV

Educational Opportunity Center at SUNY Brockport

Eastman Kodak Company

Favorite Color

Yellow

Maureen Bunyan

Television news anchor Maureen Bunyan was born in 1945 on the island of Aruba to Arthur and Wilhelmina Bunyan. Her parents had moved from Guyana to Aruba in the 1930s, looking for better work opportunities. The family immigrated to the United States when Bunyan was just eleven years old, after her father accepted a job with a company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Arthur Bunyan always stressed the importance of education to his children and at one point all members of the family were enrolled in local schools, each studying for an undergraduate degree. Bunyan herself received her B.A. degree in English and education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Still in college, she worked as a free-lance writer for the Milwaukee Journal.

Bunyan went on to attend the Columbia University School of Journalism in 1970. After school, she worked in broadcasting with Boston’s WGBH-TV and later New York’s WCBS-TV. In 1973, Bunyan became the lead news anchor and reporter at WTOP-TV (now WUSA-TV), the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. After working on the Eyewitness News Team, she became a co-anchor with Gordon Peterson and remained in this position until she resigned in 1995. Bunyan returned to school to receive her M.A. degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1980. As a lead news anchor, Bunyan covered major local, national, and international stories, traveling to Central and South America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. Bunyan established a reputation as a clear-thinking, clear-spoken, fair-minded and dependable newsperson. From 1997-1999, Bunyan served as the chief correspondent for PBS’ Religions and Ethics Newsweekly.

In 1999, Bunyan joined WJLA-TV ABC 7 News in Washington D.C. as a primary anchor. Five years later, she was reunited with co-anchor Gordon Peterson for the 6:00pm EST news. During her career, Bunyan also served as a frequent substitute host for Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio and The Derek McGinty Show on WAMU Radio. Bunyan was one of the founding members of the National Association of Black Journalists in 1975, as well as the International Women’s Media Foundation in 1990. She has won a number of awards including Journalist of the Year in 1992, the Immigrant Achievement Award from the American Immigration Law Foundation in 2002, as well as receiving a number of local Emmys for her captivating work.

Maureen Bunyan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 29, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.230

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/29/2012

Last Name

Bunyan

Maker Category
Schools

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Maureen

HM ID

BUN03

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Patagonia, Chile

Favorite Quote

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/27/1945

Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

Aruba

Favorite Food

Nuts (Cashew)

Short Description

Television news anchor Maureen Bunyan (1945 - ) worked with WUSA-TV and WJLA-TV ABC News in Washington D.C. She is a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists, as well as the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Employment

WJLA TV

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

WUSA TV (WTOP TV)

WCBS TV

Milwaukee Journal

WGBH TV

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maureen Bunyan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maureen Bunyan lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maureen Bunyan describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maureen Bunyan describes the socio-economic history of Guiana and her family's civic participation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maureen Bunyan describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maureen Bunyan describes the racial diversity of Guiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maureen Bunyan describes her father's growing up in Guiana, his interrupted education, and her family's move to Aruba and then to the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maureen Bunyan talks about his father's education in Wisconsin

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maureen Bunyan describes how her parents met in Guiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her parents' personalities, their influence on her, her mother's death, and her family's life in Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her sisters and her family's life in Aruba

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maureen Bunyan describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maureen Bunyan describes the cultural diversity of Aruba, where she was born and spent her early childhood years

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her family's move from Aruba to the United States in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maureen Bunyan describes her family's adjustment to life in the United Stated in the 1950s, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maureen Bunyan describes her family's adjustment to life in the United Stated in the 1950s, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her father as her role model

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Maureen Bunyan describes her family's life in Aruba

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Maureen Bunyan describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Aruba

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Maureen Bunyan talks about attending school and church in Aruba, and her father purchasing one of the earliest imported cars in the 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maureen Bunyan contrasts her experience in school in Aruba with her experience in Wisconsin, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maureen Bunyan contrasts her experience in school in Aruba with her education in Wisconsin, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her family's move to the U.S. in 1956, and having to adjust to the differences in climate and culture

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maureen Bunyan talks about the supportive community in Muskego, Wisconsin during the time of her mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her involvement in her school newspaper and her introduction to public speaking

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her mother's struggle with breast cancer, and her family's financial hardship

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her family's emotional distress during her mother's struggle with breast cancer and upon her death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Maureen Bunyan talks about being prone to depression, and managing it with exercise and music

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her father's spiritual quest following her mother's death, and his joining the Baha'i faith

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maureen Bunyan describes the Baha'i faith and her own views on faith

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maureen Bunyan describes her experience with discrimination at Eau Claire State College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her stay with a German family in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and the small number of minority students at Eau Claire College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maureen Bunyan talks about dropping out of Eau Claire State College, moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maureen Bunyan talks about running away from home in 1964, and traveling to Europe

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Maureen Bunyan describes her experience in Germany and returning home after spending several months in Europe in 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her exposure to the Civil Rights Movement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the mid-1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maureen Bunyan talks about the open housing movement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and her interest in journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her internship and freelance assignments at the 'Milwaukee Journal'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maureen Bunyan talks about black reporters in Milwaukee in the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maureen Bunyan reflects upon the socio-political scene in America in the late 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maureen Bunyan reflects upon her role as a journalist during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Maureen Bunyan talks about attending the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism's Summer Program for Minorities and Women in 1970

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Maureen Bunyan talks about her experience at WITI television station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Maureen Bunyan describes her family's adjustment to life in the United Stated in the 1950s, pt. 2
Maureen Bunyan reflects upon her role as a journalist during the 1960s
Transcript
So I grew up being very accustomed to people stopping and looking at me (laughs) and asking questions too and so as a young girl I think I must have been 12, 11 or 12 I remember asking my father [Arthur Hughborn Mendes Bunyan], "Why do people stop and look at us and why do they ask us where we're from and how we got here?" And my father said, "Well we're different than they are and they're a little bit shocked to see us because we're different." And I told my father, "I think it is very rude of people to stop and stare and ask us where we came from and ask us things like did we wear shoes in the Caribbean." And they didn't know of course where Guiana was. They didn't know where Aruba was. So two things happened; one was at that time in American popular culture Harry Belafonte was becoming an icon and his calypso music. So my father would tell people when they asked where we were from. My father would say, "You know Harry Belafonte?" "Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." "That's where we're from." Now we weren't from Jamaica which (laughs) was Harry Belafonte's home. So for years and years people use to think we were from Jamaica because we would say we're from where Harry Belafonte is from. And then my father told me and my sisters [Kathleen and Pamela Bunyan] you have to stop expecting people to figure you out. You have to help them figure you out. So when they ask you where you're from, you tell them and before they ask you where you're from and who you are, you tell them. And so I grew up with, as a young woman, with a map of the United States and South America and the Caribbean. My father made me take the map everywhere, and I had to recite a little statement when people would ask, "Oh, who are you?" I'd open the map, "My name is Maureen Bunyan. I was born on the island of Aruba but my family is from Guiana. Aruba is a small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. It is a Dutch island, although people speak Dutch they also speak Spanish. They speak a dialect called Papiamento but my family speaks English because my parents are from Guiana. Guiana, I'd point to the map, is a small (laughs) country on the northeast coast of South America and though it's part of South America, it's not part of Latin America because Guiana is a British colony. So people speak English and blah, blah, blah and Wisconsin is up here. So I think that my parents [Wilhelmina Hill and Arthur Hughborn Mendes Bunyan] and I and my sisters gave a whole geography lesson to hundreds of people in southeastern Wisconsin. And--$$You know I was going to say that with a map I, I--$$Oh yeah.$$--there was a study once that showed that most American high school seniors could not identify Florida which actually sticks out--$$Yeah.$$--on the map.$$Yeah.$$And I would imagine that a lot of people in Wisconsin, high school students didn't--$$In the 1950s (laughs).$$In Wisconsin [unclear].$$(laughs) You're right, you're right. And I also learned that it was my responsibility to present myself to people and not to anticipate what people think of me but to explain and to show people who I was. And I think that has helped me over the years because in, in traveling and certainly in my work in, in journalism and in broadcasting and public speaking, I'm, I'm a conservative person physically. I'm a conservative person intellectually but I believe that you have, in order to communicate with other people who have to show them and tell them who you are. You can't expect them to read your mind, and that was a big gift from my father to me. And I think it also helped me to be more assertive and to be more self-confident.$Can you remember the, I guess, one of the early times when you consciously knew that being in the position of being a journalist, you could actually feed a story the way you wanted to or you could tell people what you wanted them to know about a certain issue?$$Yes, first, working, being in Milwaukee [Wisconsin] and being aware of the Civil Rights Movement there, but also watching to the TV networks' coverage of the Vietnam War, not so much the Civil Rights Movement because the Civil Rights Movement was covered, of course. Dan Rather and a lot of reporters were in the South covering the Civil Rights Movement. But I was, I was very aware of the power of the images of people and what, the way in which the broadcast media especially, but newspapers too, were able to explain to America what was happening. One of my, my best mentor at the 'Milwaukee Journal' was a reporter named Frank Aukofer. Frank--his name is A-U-K-O-F-E-R. Frank was a white reporter, and he covered the Civil Rights Movement in Milwaukee as well as in the South. And he used to tell me about going--he went to Selma [Alabama] and all these places. And he would tell me about these things. And he told me about how he had to work, as a white reporter, to understand what was happening to black Americans. So, and I'm still friends with him (laughter). He lives here--as a matter of fact, he was, lived in Washington [District of Columbia] for a long time. And so I realized, I said you have to, it takes effort to understand what's happening to other people, takes effort to find out what's happening to yourself, but great effort and energy to be a journalist and to be able to observe and put yourself also in the shoes of the people you're observing 'cause you have to do both. You can't just stand back and say, oh, they did this, they did that. And especially, when you're reporting on volatile social issues, whether it's a war, you know, a civil war, a cultural movement, and this took a lot of energy, a lot of insight, and a lot of work. But it's--the result and the satisfaction were so important because you were having, you're making a big contribution to your society, to your culture. And I thought that was a very important thing to be able to do. And then watching also the Vietnam War coverage and seeing, you know, the horrible things that were going on, that we were doing and then hearing my friends, my black friends in Milwaukee who had come back from Vietnam, and, you know, the whole thing we were all going through. Mohammed Ali said he wasn't gonna go (laughter) to fight to kill, you know, brown people who hadn't done anything wrong to him, and all that was part of what was going on in this country. So there was--we, it was really a moment of awakening for many, many people on all sides of the racial barriers in our country. And the thing too that helped me a lot was, I got to travel, I made some small trips to Selma and I went to Tuscaloosa [Alabama] and some of these other places in, I think it was '66 [1966], '67 [1967] when the drive to get people to register to vote was going on. So I also learned how important it was, how important it was to participate in the civic life of this country, and I thought this was important to report too. So I was both observing and taking part in this thing at the same time. But in the late '60s [1960s] is when I really thought, to be a good journalist is something to be admired and to work for because not only are you a craftsperson, but you can effect change in your own society. And that's when I really got hooked on journalism.

Jerry Revish

Television news anchor Jerry Revish was born in Youngstown, Ohio on March 15, 1949 to Estelle Revish, a homemaker and Dewey Revish, a steelworker. He graduated from East High School in 1967 and went on to attend Youngstown State University and Chapman College in Orange, California.

In 1972, Revish began his career in the media when he joined WBBW-Radio in Youngstown, Ohio as a board operator. Two years later, he went on to work for WBNS-AM/FM Radio in Columbus, Ohio as a general assignment reporter and assignment editor. In 1980, Revish became a newscaster for WBNS-TV. He reported from Saudi Arabia on the Persian Gulf War in 1990 and his stories entitled, “Desert Shield Diary” won a Midwest Regional Emmy Award in 1991. Revish reported from Bosnia during the Balkans War and created an award-winning half-hour long documentary from his time reporting on post-apartheid South Africa. Since 1992, he has served as co-anchor for WBNS-TV and has anchored the 5 PM, 6 PM and 11 PM news. In 1996, Revish won the NABJ’s Best International Reporting Award for his story "A Return to Haiti: Rebuilding Paradise." Also in 1996, Revish was instrumental in exonerating Columbus bodybuilder Walter Smith, who was falsely accused of rape, by shining light on Smith’s story through the testing of DNA evidence never introduced at trial. He has also reported from Barbados, Bahrain and Japan. Revish is active in his local community and the founder of The Columbus Association of Black Journalists/Jerry Revish High School Journalism Workshop for minority students in Columbus, Ohio.

Revish has garnered much recognition for his work including six Emmy awards and seventeen Emmy nominations. He has also received the Associated Press awards for best feature, best documentary and best spot news coverage. Revish is the recipient of the Blue Chip Award in Communications and the Carl Day Award for Outstanding Achievement. He was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2005 and has been a member of the National Association of Black Journalists since 1985. Revish and his wife have two adult children, Nicole and Jerome.

Jerry Revish was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 3, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.089

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/3/2012

Last Name

Revish

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Craig

Schools

East High School

Youngstown State University

Chapman University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jerry

Birth City, State, Country

Youngstown

HM ID

REV01

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Never give up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

3/15/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Short Description

Television news anchor Jerry Revish (1949 - ) has reported for WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio since 1980 and received numerous awards for his international news stories.

Employment

WBBW Radio

WBNS Radio

WBNS TV

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:14220,213:14829,221:28454,343:32226,392:32718,399:64196,760:64626,766:67034,800:82410,965:87842,1030:88327,1036:92437,1072:94210,1077:96036,1104:100716,1154:101000,1159:103485,1208:110069,1285:110484,1290:111065,1298:124126,1456:129638,1496:137903,1649:151810,1893:161211,2044:161616,2050:200970,2578$0,0:2356,12:11220,113:13336,176:16648,224:18212,247:23986,305:24767,321:26755,359:27820,376:31865,433:32577,443:36895,481:37270,487:37570,500:39220,533:39595,539:44332,585:44908,594:49116,639:53085,746:58401,798:60956,847:62051,870:62416,876:63292,897:65117,935:66431,960:70530,968:74310,1066:83336,1194:89990,1295:94042,1335:105544,1491:106318,1501:112350,1526:117870,1576:118502,1590:119371,1605:120003,1618:128133,1717:131526,1781:133614,1816:135180,1839:135528,1844:140296,1886:141406,1910:143034,1949:147474,2031:148066,2042:158595,2114:159162,2122:159486,2156:178542,2323:182700,2383:183085,2389:183547,2396:195603,2568:196212,2576:199873,2601:200208,2607:200610,2619:201079,2628:201548,2636:201950,2643:202553,2655:203491,2674:209052,2769:214932,2869:215576,2877:218152,2915:233958,3144:234486,3149:247070,3268:247870,3277:249690,3327
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jerry Revish's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jerry Revish lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jerry Revish describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jerry Revish talks about his mother and his family attending church

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jerry Revish talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jerry Revish talks about his father, and his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jerry Revish talks about his father's career and his family's life in Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jerry Revish describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jerry Revish talks about his childhood household and his childhood memories of growing up in Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jerry Revish describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jerry Revish describes the city of Youngstown, Ohio during the time of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jerry Revish talks about his experience in elementary school in Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jerry Revish talks about his family's television set

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jerry Revish talks about the schools in Youngstown, and his experience in school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jerry Revish talks about his interest in radio and television while growing up in Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jerry Revish talks about his involvement in his high school's marching band

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jerry Revish talks about the Civil Rights Movement while he was growing up in Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jerry Revish talks about working for a year after graduating from high school in 1967 and the influence of his school principal

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jerry Revish talks about attending Youngstown State University, moving to California to live with his uncle, and attending Chapman College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jerry Revish describes how he entered the field of radio broadcasting

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jerry Revish talks about his experience working at WBBW Radio in Youngstown, Ohio and accepting a position at BNS Radio in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jerry Revish describes his experience at WBNS Radio in Columbus, Ohio, and his decision to transition to television

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jerry Revish describes how he was hired at WBNS TV in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jerry Revish talks about the black journalists on major news networks in the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jerry Revish talks about transitioning from radio to television broadcast journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jerry Revish talks about his mother's emphasis on sound language skills

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jerry Revish talks about his experience as a news anchor and general assignment reporter at WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jerry Revish talks about reporting about the first Gulf War on the news-series, 'Desert Shield Diary'

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jerry Revish talks about his involvement in the exoneration of Walter Smith on charges of rape

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jerry Revish talks about his decision to help Walter Smith to prove himself innocent of rape charges

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jerry Revish talks about joining Ohio-based U.S. Army reservists on a trip to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Jerry Revish talks about his involvement with the Columbus, Ohio chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jerry Revish describes his routine as an evening news anchor on WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jerry Revish describes his tour through Bosnia and Herzegovina in the aftermath of the Bosnian War

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jerry Revish describes his visit to Haiti during the U.S. invasion in the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jerry Revish talks about the Somali community in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jerry Revish talks about winning the National Association of Black Journalists' Salute to Excellence Award Contest

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jerry Revish talks about his journalistic tours to Japan, South Africa, the Gulf, Iraq and Barbados in the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jerry Revish talks about Michael Coleman, the Mayor of Columbus, Ohio, and the highlights of his administration

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jerry Revish talks about the election of Michael Coleman as Mayor of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jerry Revish reflects upon Columbus, Ohio's stable economy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jerry Revish talks about the major stories in Columbus, Ohio in the 2000s

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Jerry Revish talks about his election to the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame and his relationship with the community in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Jerry Revish describes his philosophy as a journalist

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jerry Revish talks about the desegregation of schools in Columbus, Ohio in 1979, and in the current school system

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jerry Revish talks about the introduction of cable television in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jerry Revish describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jerry Revish reflects upon the diminishing number of African Americans in broadcast journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jerry Revish reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jerry Revish talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jerry Revish talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jerry Revish describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Jerry Revish talks about his experience working at WBBW Radio in Youngstown, Ohio and accepting a position at BNS Radio in Columbus, Ohio
Jerry Revish talks about his experience as a news anchor and general assignment reporter at WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio
Transcript
So, Boots Bell gets you a, a job with the--$$With WBBW, a radio station in Youngstown [Ohio], just working part-time, weekends. I was a control board operator. There was a guy who had a big band show. He was a jewelry store owner, and he bought time on the radio station, primarily to hawk his watches and, and jewelry. He was a big Seiko watch distributor. We had this big band show on Sunday mornings. And I would spin the records for him. On Saturdays I would spin records and rip and read some wire copy during the half-time for Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeye football games, you know, and the seventh inning stretch for the [Cleveland] Indians.$$Okay. So did you--when did you have any inkling at all that you had the voice for radio?$$I think early on because you know I could just speak well. Boots encouraged me to do that. And I kind of rose at the, at the radio station. I started as a [control] board op [operator], but then got into news reporting there. Doing morning drive radio, and they had a three person newsroom, and I learned from some great curmudgeons who just taught you, you know, take good notes and work on your writing and, and be sharp about that. One of my first beats was the Youngstown public schools' board meeting. I would go to City Council sessions and stuff like that. Didn't get a whole lot of experience out in the field as far as interviewing people, but I got some. And worked there for two years, and got a call one day from WBNS Radio. A friend of mine who was also at BBW said you know, they called and they're looking for a guy to do radio down in Columbus [Ohio]. Would you be interested? I said yeah, sure. At that time I was engaged, and I was thinking about doing more than being in Youngstown. I worked at the radio station, go ahead.$$But, but what happened at, at the Youngstown station? You were there for two years and what was the--had the, had the--how did the job end? I mean--$$The job ended when I got the job at BNS Radio in Columbus.$$Okay so you were still working at the--$$Yeah, it was amazing how I got that job in the newsroom.$$All right.$$The guy at BBW who was the reporter in front of me, he got married and got killed in a car accident that very same weekend. It was the most awful thing. And I remember going to his funeral and looking at his widow, really it was his bride. And that following Monday they asked me at the, at BBW to--would you come in here and work full time? And so I did. Yeah, but it was odd how I got that job.$$Yeah that's a horrible way to get it.$Okay so, so news reporting for WBNS [Columbus, Ohio]. So in the beginning you, you--well what would your day be like, typical day as a news reporter?$$At the radio, at the TV station we'd come in and stop by the Assignment Desk and find out what stories are we going to pick up. The business started to change over the years. Back then the Assignment Desk sort of dictated what the stories were going to be. And reporters if you found out something, you were able to sell that story idea and get that on the air too, which I did quite often. But now the newsroom is pretty much a producer driven experience. And it's kind of amazing because these are guys that never get out. I mean they're in the room all day. They don't mix it up with people, and but they have an idea based on what the story content is of the day, how they want their newscast to look. You still have to come up with three story ideas every day. I doubt most of the reporters do because three new story ideas every day is pretty difficult to come up with. I mean decent story ideas. People throw up all kind of stuff, but you know you got to do a lot of digging, a lot of calling, working your sources, keeping your ear to the ground to, to hear about stuff that's happening. So it, it can be a little daunting that way. But at 2:00 I come in and we have a meeting, well that's now. But back then when I was just a General Assignment Reporter, we would pick up a story and go out and do it. I used to do something called Ohio Cam. It was where we would go out every single day to another county in the state and do a story from a different part of the state. And it was really pretty amazing. We'd go out real early, shoot the story and edit it for the nightly news that night. And we'd go everywhere. I mean Toledo [Ohio], southeast Ohio down in coal country, we'd go to Marietta [Ohio], even Cincinnati [Ohio], farm places that I never even knew existed, just rural areas we'd find these stories and do that sort of thing. Did that for probably a year. Got some great stories out of that. And finally got on with the morning show as an anchor, co-anchor. At that time we were starting the morning show at 6:00 a.m. We did an hour. And then over time we expanded it to 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 [a.m.]. I did mornings and the noon show.$$So you started in 1980, right.$$Mm-hmm.$$So you were about thirty years old then and, and so how long did it take for you to become a, a reporter, I mean--$$Anchor?$$Anchor for the morning show.$$Well after I'd had that experience as the weekend anchor, it took me eight years from when I left the weekend anchor desk to get back in the mix of being considered for another job. So I did general assignment for a long time.$$Okay, okay so when you started you were general assignment.$$Right.$$And then you became a weekend anchor first?$$Weekend anchor and did general assignment for three--$$About, about what year is this when you, or how long--$$Let's see, probably '82 [1982] to '85 [1985].$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$Okay, all right. Now okay so '82 [1982] to '85 [1985] was weekend anchor, and then the--$$Then I went back into general assignment.$$Okay.$$For probably eight years, thereabouts.$$So that's '85 [1985] to what--$$'85 [1985] to probably about '90 [1989] I think.$$(Unclear; Simultaneous)

Robert H. Jordan, Jr.

WGN-TV News anchorman Robert Jordan was born Robert Howard Jordan, Jr. on August 31, 1943 in Atlanta, Georgia to Millicent Dobbs Jordan, a college professor, and Robert H. Jordan, Sr., a dentist. Jordan began his career in broadcast journalism by serving as a booth announcer for WSM-TV in Nashville, Tennessee. That same year, he was married to Sharon E. Lundy. Then, in 1973 he was hired as a general assignment reporter for WGN-TV in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan worked for the WGN-TV One o’clock news while pursuing his B.A. degree at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

After graduating from Roosevelt University in 1977, Jordan joined the CBS News Midwest bureau in Chicago. He worked there for two years, covering stories throughout the Midwest, for the Evening News with Walter Cronkite. In 1980, Jordan returned to WGN-TV’s news team where he wrote and produced several stories including a documentary on the Atlanta Child Murders. He also went on to write a series on the nationalization of the U.S. dollar entitled “Peso Rich; Dollar Poor”. During the 1980s, Jordan served as a board member and trustee for the Chicago Sinfonietta, John Shedd Aquarium (where he currently continues to be an active trustee) and Evanston Hospital.

In 1994, Jordan decided to further his education by earning his M.A. degree in speech from Northeastern Illinois University. He would later earn his Ph.D. in philosophy of education with a minor in ethics in 2000, from Loyola University Chicago.

Aside from working as an anchorman, Jordan has written two screenplays, Anthony’s Key and Multiman. In 1995, he joined the board of the Safer Foundation and the following year, Jordan became a board member at the Night Ministry. He founded his own production company, Jordan & Jordan Communications, Inc. in 1997.

Jordan lives with his wife, Sharon, in Lincolnwood, Illinois. They have one daughter, Karen, also a reporter/anchor in Chicago. Her husband, Christian Farr, is a reporter/anchor with the PBS station in Chicago.

Jordan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 18, 2007.

Accession Number

A2008.018

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/18/2008

Last Name

Jordan

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Schools

David T. Howard High School

Henry McNeal Turner High School

Nathan Bedford Forrest Elementary School

Ford Green Elementary School

Roosevelt University

Northeastern Illinois University

Loyola University Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

JOR05

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cuba, Paris, France

Favorite Quote

God Gave Us Memory So That We Might Have Roses In December.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/31/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thai Food

Short Description

Television news anchor Robert H. Jordan, Jr. (1943 - ) was an anchor and reporter for WGN-TV News in Chicago, Illinois. He founded his own production company and has written two screenplays.

Employment

CBS

WGN TV

WSM-TV

Meharry Medical College

Jordan and Jordan Communications, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert H. Jordan, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about his maternal grandfather, John Wesley Dobbs

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about the history of the Pullman Company

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his maternal grandfather's travels

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about the history of Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls his maternal grandfather's emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. lists his maternal family members, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. lists his maternal family members, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers living with his maternal grandfather, John Wesley Dobbs

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his maternal grandfather's childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls his maternal family's Sunday dinners

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about his mother's interest in African art

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls his mother's demonstration at Spelman College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to them

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes the smells and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers the First Congregational Church of Atlanta

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his religious philosophy

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his family's religious activities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls his early interest in sports

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers his parents' employment in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls returning with his family to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls his early interest in music

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers playing varsity basketball with Walt Frazier

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes the basketball court at his home in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers his early interest in biology

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers being drafted into the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls serving with the U.S. Army in Puerto Rico

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers working at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls his start in the broadcasting industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about his marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his experiences as a television reporter in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers the civil unrest of 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers developing an appreciation of country music

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes the changes in the media industry

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about diversity in the television industry

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes the lack of diversity among broadcast executives

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls his transition to WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers reporting for the 'CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls a memorable news report

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his pursuit of higher education

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about his dissertation research

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes the television news industry's crime coverage

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his reporting style

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about the anchors and audience of WGN-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about WGN-TV's worldwide popularity

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers founding Jordan and Jordan Communications, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers writing about his cancer treatment

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about his daughter

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. talks about the importance of The HistoryMakers

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert H. Jordan, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATitle
Robert H. Jordan, Jr. recalls his maternal grandfather's emphasis on education
Robert H. Jordan, Jr. remembers meeting his wife
Transcript
He [Jordan's maternal grandfather] was known to walk from one part of Auburn Avenue to the next, stopping in stores and talking to people, he'd go in the barbershop. I can, to this day, remember him in the barbershop and he would be there, and there'd be some discussion going about something and he get in--these would be heated discussions and he was almost preaching. But he was a scholarly gentleman who had a library in his home, the first home that I can remember going in that had a library. My father [Robert H. Jordan, Sr.] had a library, my mother [Millicent Dobbs Jordan] had a library and I have a library. And books have been important to all of us and learning and reading. And so, I mean, here's a man who was born the son of slaves but had enough savvy to realize the importance of books and learning and reading that he had a library in his home. And so, he was well known up and down the strip of Auburn Avenue, and gave it the name Sweet Auburn [Atlanta, Georgia], which lives to this day. So, if there was an unofficial mayor of Auburn Avenue, it was probably John Wesley Dobbs. So, that was how he was so well known. Amassed a fair amount of money from his speaking engagements traveling all the time, driving to churches and places all over the South. So he lived comfortably. He had six daughters, no boys. He adopted a boy later on who was kind of adopted from some other family. But, all of his daughters, he was able to put through Spelman College [Atlanta, Georgia] and graduate school, and some post-graduate school. But this was almost unheard of at that time, I mean, most black people didn't even go to college or many didn't even go to finish high school. We're talking about a time, when most colored people didn't finish high school, he was sending his daughters on to graduate school. So, it was quite an accomplishment, and they all did well and all married well. And that helped to continue the growth of the family in prosperity. And his values and principles of education and church and civic affiliations, and giving back to the community, all of that continued through his progeny which were his six daughters. And they in turn were able to pass that on to my generation, and we, hopefully, have continued to pass it on through our generations.$So you graduated from Turner High School [Henry McNeal Turner High School, Atlanta, Georgia] then (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$--in '61 [1961]?$$That's right.$$Okay. All right.$$But I'll backup, I'll tell you an interesting story. In the marching band, we used to go to Fort Valley, Georgia every year for a big band concert. And there would be marching bands from all over the state and they would convene in Fort Valley, Georgia for a day of marching and we'd have our concert season there as well. But we--the big triple-A school, the triple-A schools in Atlanta [Georgia] would march through first and then the smaller schools would follow. And I remember my junior year, we'd already marched into an area there in Fort Valley and I walked back out to watch some of the other schools come by. And I saw this majorette. I looked at this woman when she walked by and I thought, ah, be still my heart.$$(Cough).$$Yeah, I know, man. It's nothing worse than that. So, let me back up. The marching bands would go to Fort Valley, Georgia in the spring for our concert season and to march. (Background noise) And I remember seeing the--(laughter) let me go back once more.$$(TAPE INTERRUPTION)$$(OFF CAMERA VOICE): And speed.$$When I was in high school, the marching bands would have a big convocation each spring and they'd meet in Fort Valley, Georgia, which is in central Georgia outside Macon [Georgia]. We'd have our concert season there and then we'd watch the other bands as they'd march around. I walked out to watch some of the other Georgia high schools walk by and I saw this majorette. This girl went marching by and I looked and I couldn't believe my eyes. If there is such a thing as love at first sight, it happened. I became haunted by this woman. Because I walked along the sidewalk following them just looking at her. And, finally, they marched on out of sight, I never saw her again. But her image was burned in my mind and I never forgot it. At least I thought I hadn't forgotten it. So, anyway, two years later I graduate from Turner High School, I go to Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] and with my buddies we would always go over and hang out at Spelman [Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia], the women's institution right across the street. So, I'm over there and we're kind of sitting on the railing watching all the girls walk by, heading to the cafeteria in the afternoon. Who should walk by but the majorette that I had seen two years earlier. I didn't know it, but something in my subconscious knew it. Because I saw her and again I was thunderstruck, and I kind of (makes sound), she just kind of looked at me and walked on by and ignored me. But I went after her and I, you know, kept finding--had to find out "Who, who is that?" Said, "That's Sharon Lundy [Sharon Lundy Jordan]." "Sharon Lundy, huh? Man!" So I tracked her down. Come to find out, she was in one of my mother's [Millicent Dobbs Jordan] classes. And in a few--I didn't get to catch up with her until a few months later and a few girlfriends later (laughter) but I eventually did. Found out that she was from Waycross, Georgia. I remembered it was Center High [Center High School, Waycross, Georgia] when they came marching by and sure enough that was Sharon that I had seen marching by two years earlier and who had haunted me for all that time, the mystery woman. And we ended up dating for a number of years and a long time, and eventually got married. And we've been married now thirty-seven years.$$That's quite a story.$$Yeah (laughter).$$Okay, Waycross, Georgia, that's where [HistoryMaker] Ossie Davis is from.$$That's right, he sure is. Very good.

Robin Robinson

Local Emmy Award winning television anchor Robin Carolle Robinson was born on August 4, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois, to Louie and Mati Robinson. Robinson was the second youngest in a family of six children. As a child, she was fascinated by her father’s skills as a journalist, especially his ability to type quickly. In 1960, Robinson’s father was promoted to West Coast editor of Ebony magazine, and her family relocated to Pomona, California. Then, in 1963, her family moved to Claremont, California, where Robinson was one of the first African Americans to integrate the predominantly white Claremont High School.

After graduating from high school, Robinson went on to attend San Diego State University where she pursued her B.A. degree in journalism. She then worked for KGTV in San Diego. In 1981, Robinson was hired as an anchor by WBBM-TV, Chicago’s CBS affiliate. She worked there until 1987, when she joined the staff of WFLD-TV Fox News Chicago. As an anchorwoman for Fox, Robinson received numerous awards, particularly for her coverage of the Great Chicago Flood and the funeral of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

In 1995, Robinson became a spokesperson for the Child Abuse Prevention Series. In 1997, after her older brother Greg passed away, she helped produce a series on heroin addiction. Robinson is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and serves on the board of directors of South Central Community Services, Inc.

Robinson lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Accession Number

A2008.016

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/7/2008

Last Name

Robinson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Claremont High School

Chaparral Elementary School

Arroyo Elementary School

San Diego State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Robin

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

ROB21

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Skiing in Colorado Jamaica

Favorite Quote

There's No Such Thing As a Dead-End Job, Just Dead-End People.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/4/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard greens, catfish, pork roast, rice and red beans, etc.

Short Description

Television news anchor Robin Robinson (1957 - ) was the anchorwoman for Chicago's Fox News and has won local Emmy Awards for her work.

Favorite Color

saddle gray, black, chocolate brown, burnt orange, green, etc.

Timing Pairs
0,0:1458,34:1990,73:6246,130:8526,183:18716,414:45270,876:45562,882:50891,1010:51183,1028:51475,1038:62685,1299:84125,1586:102550,1920:102830,1925:123001,2298:137951,2632:148301,2828:156398,2957:156728,2963:160094,3026:162470,3085:169730,3323:178705,3582:198400,3908:209020,4108:210896,4128:213509,4263:214983,4346:218132,4386:230658,4634:232208,4663:232890,4675:233138,4703:235618,4796:240540,4822$0,0:792,39:1080,44:7560,221:9792,269:15696,419:21120,449:28380,614:28974,625:30426,654:33792,725:35442,767:47294,931:61520,1112:61982,1129:63830,1193:64358,1202:64820,1211:71882,1353:72344,1399:72608,1404:81147,1520:83226,1556:97777,1779:98313,1789:103003,1881:113380,2056:129190,2288:129438,2303:135204,2437:145104,2648:147620,2803:160328,2934:164428,3009:164838,3015:176729,3174:184950,3302
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robin Robinson's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Robin Robinson's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robin Robinson lists her favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robin Robinson lists her favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robin Robinson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robin Robinson talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robin Robinson describes her mother's childhood outside Dallas, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robin Robinson talks about the racism her biracial mother experienced

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robin Robinson talks about her mother's upbringing and her maternal grandmother's domestic service jobs

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robin Robinson describes her father, Louie Robinson, Jr.'s family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robin Robinson talks about her father, Louie Robinson, Jr.'s childhood outside Tyler, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robin Robinson recalls visiting her grandfather, Louie Robinson, Sr., in Enid, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robin Robinson describes her earliest memory and moving from Chicago, Illinois to Pomona, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robin Robinson talks about her father, Louie Robinson, Jr. becoming West Coast Editor for HistoryMaker John H. Johnson's magazines, 'Ebony' and 'Jet'

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robin Robinson describes her father, Louie Robinson, Jr.'s education at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, his U.S. Armed Forces service, and his professional relationship with HistoryMaker John H. Johnson

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robin Robinson talks about her father, Louie Robinson, Jr.'s journalistic career in 1960s Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robin Robinson describes her godfather and family friend, Sammy Davis, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robin Robinson talks about Sammy Davis, Jr., and HistoryMakers Harry Belafonte and Nancy Wilson

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robin Robinson describes her father's close friend, Sidney Poitier, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robin Robinson describes her father's close friend, Sidney Poitier, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robin Robinson recalls her neighborhoods growing up in Pomona and Claremont, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robin Robinson describes her experiences and friends at Arroyo Elementary School in Pomona, California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robin Robinson describes her neighborhood and Chaparral Elementary School in Claremont, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robin Robinson talks about La Puerta Junior High School in Claremont, California, and her mother's activism

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robin Robinson recalls the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement, and busing programs to integrate Claremont High School in Claremont, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robin Robinson talks about her friends at Claremont High School in Claremont, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robin Robinson describes her extracurricular activities at La Puerta Junior High School in Claremont, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robin Robinson recalls protests in Claremont, California against the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robin Robinson recalls protests in Claremont, California against the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robin Robinson describes horseback riding and swimming in Claremont, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robin Robinson talks about the countercultural trends and drug culture in Claremont, California during the late 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robin Robinson talks about her father, Louie Robinson, Jr.'s journalistic career during the late 1960s and about her siblings

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robin Robinson describes her late brother, Greg Robinson, and his heroin addiction

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robin Robinson talks about her brother, Greg Robinson's 1996 death from AIDS-related illness

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robin Robinson recounts her 1975 decision to attend San Diego State University to become a broadcast journalist

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
Robin Robinson talks about Sammy Davis, Jr., and HistoryMakers Harry Belafonte and Nancy Wilson
Robin Robinson recounts her 1975 decision to attend San Diego State University to become a broadcast journalist
Transcript
Do you remember him coming to the house?$$Yeah.$$Dinners and things like that? What's a favorite Sammy Davis, Jr. memory at your house?$$He was always the life of the party. He was always the life of the party, which is funny because my dad [Louie Robinson, Jr.], as I said, is a, is a, is a, is a kind of a gentle and quiet person and, and, and--but he's very sociable and loves good conversation. And I think that was why he and Sammy Davis hit it off because they lov--and they would discuss everything from religion to politics to civil rights to--and I do--and I remember that, that he would--he wo--he wanted to get his point across. He wan--he, he was more than just entertaining, he was a--he really had an opinion on so many things. And, he was a big flirt and he'd--everybody was-- he was always flirtin' with my mom [Mati Huckaby Robinson] and just, you know, just, just, down-home regular kinda person as, as, was everyone that was ever in our home. If they were--if it was a celebrity that, that wasn't--then they just were a story and didn't become a friend, I mean, I, I--my mom has stories about [HM] Harry Belafonte and being here in Chicago [Illinois] and, and you know, him have--tellin' her to try this drink, some drink that she--that he had her try then made her so sick that she said, you know, I--she said, I almost threw up in Harry Belafonte's limo, wouldn't that have been a memory that I would have never lived down. But, I mean, just, you know, and these were--not because he was Harry Belafonte, but because he was someone that they liked that they were hangin' out with and it was--and it was all because of the 'Ebony' Magazine connection. And--but you know, there were a lot of people that were tryin' to interview these, these, stars and they felt an affinity, one for the fact that this was a major black publication and that they were talkin' to a, a, black journalist of, of high standards and, and, and integrity, it was--I could tell it was the mutual respect was, was, everywhere. I remember [HM] Nancy Wilson was playing at a, a, a, I can't remember the--Covina Playhouse I think they call it in West Covina [California], which is a suburb right next to Pomona.$$What year are we talking, approximately?$$Sixty--had to be, well let's see, I was in high school in '75 [1975] so, I got out in--say, let's say '70 [1970], 1970 and she had a matinee and then an evening show and she came over after the matinee to see my parents in, in between. It's only like twenty minutes away, and, I (laughter) remember she laid down and she slept for like three hours (laughter) and so I said, I said, well mom, I don't think that this lady is gonna have any dinner at all, I said (laughter). They had to wake her up to go back to work--because she wanted to come some place where she could relax. She didn't want to stay there; she didn't want to go to a hotel. She wanted to come to some--to friend's home where she could relax. And it was--I mean it was just, it was just that kinda thing, it was, you never quite knew who was going to be at your house. I mean, it was--my dad knew Michael Jackson when he was little. When he was, you know, the front man of the Jackson Five. I mean, he did stories on them. He did--(simultaneous)--$$Well, what did you think because Michael Jackson is, you know, you're a contemporary?$$Yeah, I felt that was very cool and I wanted to go with him and he wouldn't let me$$(laughter) okay. So I felt--I--you know he said it wouldn't be professional, and he was right, you know. But it was, you know, that was, that, that was cool. But he was--my father was never--he was never exp--you know, like ruffled by, you know or excited by, or--(simultaneous)--$$Not star struck.$$Not star struck at all. He had, he had not, not nothing about him.$$Were you aware that these were celebrities, people who were respected all over the world really?$$--(Simultaneous)--Not really, not really. I didn't have, I didn't have, I didn't have that kind of--I was not awe struck. I mean, I mean, somebody like Michael Jackson, yeah, it was, that was, that was, that was different, but you know, the Jackson Five, really wasn't--we weren't--wasn't Michael Jackson, it was the fact that it was the Jackson Five. Because back then it was--that was it. It was, you know, that was, that was a very cool thing. Because he also did stories, you know, about people who you otherwise would not have heard of, who had had great advancements in business or science that weren't necessarily celebrities and the stories about the celebrities who generally about something that they were doing that was not necessarily just about entertainment or about what their celebrity status was for, so.$$Some social issue perhaps--(simultaneous)--$$Some social issue, right--$What year did you graduate [Claremont] High School [Claremont, California] and what did you do next?$$I graduated in 1975 and I went to San Diego State University [San Diego, California] because, when I looked at all the catalogs from the California state universities they had the most pages on journalism, and so (unclear)$$--(Simultaneous)--How'd you now that you wanted to be a journalist$$I, I liked--I discovered that I liked reality. If I'd only known I would've been the, the--I would've started reality television and I'd be a billionaire now. But (laughter) time, I was, I, I always liked to write and instead of writing for the school paper because I was kind of a rebel, I started my own little newsletter that just dished all the dirt on everybody and everything that was going on whether it was teacher, students, grades, affairs, what have you. And they put a stop to that kinda quickly, 'cause it was kind of an unorthodox, un--unauthorized, unorthodox--it wasn't anonymous, I mean I, I don't believe in anything anonymous journalistically or source-wise either. But, they made me stop doing that, but I, I , really liked, I liked what was really going on and I thi--and I realized early on that the, the same event as reported by two different people could be seen completely differently and at--the more I--I took a mass media law class in high school, as I told you Claremont High School was, was, pretty well set academically and it was the most fascinating class ever--if I could have taken the class again, I would have taken the class again. And Mr. Lee was the, the, what's his name? Mr. Lee, I cannot remember--I cannot believe I cannot remember that teacher's name, but he made a big impression on me. And I, I just enjoyed it and to learn about libel and slander and sources and all that. And I said, there's a science to this. There's a reason that two untrained people look at the same event and come up with two different stories, but if we, if we knew the rules of journalism you, you, the stories shouldn't be that different. It should be somewhat the same. And so I just--I had always been interested, also in drama. I think for a long time my parents were afraid that I would become an actress, but I, I, my problem with acting--and I did do some plays and things in school. My problem was that, that I kept wanting to change the script, I kept wanting to ad-lib. They don't like when you start ad-libbing Shakespeare. And then I remember in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' I of course was Puck, okay (laughter) but I doubt--I gave a lot of--I took a lot of leeway with it, and that was in junior high school and in a summer at drama class and I realized I didn't want to stick to the script. You know, it's not true anyway so why do I have to say it like that. And you know, authors don't appreciate it when you, when you mess with, with what they've written, so I had the performance aspect and the writing aspect in broadcast journalism because I--you could still write, it was still reality, it was true, it was fact but if you didn't on some level perform in a way that people--to catch people's attention then it didn't work. So broadcast journalism turned out to be kind of the good blending of the drama and the truth and the writing for me, so.

Carole Simpson

Award winning journalist Carole Estelle Simpson was born on December 7, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois. Simpson became involved in drama in elementary school and high school, training her at a young age to articulate and project her voice for television and radio. In 1958, Simpson graduated from high school and attended the University of Illinois. After attending the University of Illinois for two years, Simpson transferred to the University of Michigan where she graduated in 1962 with her B.A. degree in journalism; she was the only black journalism major in her graduating class. While pursuing her B.A. degree, Simpson received her first media experience by working at a community newspaper during her summer breaks.

After graduating from college, Simpson was hired as a journalism instructor and publicist at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama; she held this position for two years before becoming a graduate student at the University of Iowa, where she chose broadcast media over print journalism. In 1965, Simpson returned to Chicago to become the first woman to broadcast news in the city’s history when she was hired at WCFL Radio. In 1968, Simpson changed stations and began working for Chicago’s WBBM Radio as a news reporter and anchor. While working for Chicago’s WBBM, Simpson covered the Civil Rights Movement and the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial. She also served as a commentator for the public affairs series Our People until 1970. After working for WBBM, Simpson became Chicago’s first black female television reporter, while working for the NBC affiliate, WMAQ-TV. While working as a journalist in Chicago, Simpson also taught journalism courses at Northwestern University.

In 1974, Simpson was hired as a Washington, D.C. correspondent for the NBC Nightly News. In 1982, Simpson joined ABC News as a correspondent and covered then-Vice President George H.W. Bush on his domestic and foreign trips. She also went on to cover his 1988 presidential campaign. In 1986, Simpson reported live from the Philippine Islands on the fall of the country’s president, Ferdinand Marcos. In 1988, she was hired as a Sunday news anchor for ABC’s World News Tonight. In 1992, Simpson was the first woman and minority to ever moderate a presidential debate held at the University of Richmond between George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot and then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton; the debate was also the first to be held in the town hall meeting format. For ABC’s Nightline, Simpson covered the release from prison of South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela after twenty-seven years for his anti-apartheid activities; while covering the story, she was beaten by a South African police officer. Throughout the 1990s, Simpson reported on several breaking news stories including the controversial Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

Simpson ended her career as a weekend ABC anchor in 2003, but had a contract with the network until 2005. Simpson became the ambassador for the network, traveling throughout the country and speaking in schools. Simpson’s new role consisted of visiting public schools to help students make a sense of the changing media landscape; she launched the program at her old high school in Chicago. Simpson has established six scholarships for women and minorities majoring in journalism at the post-secondary level. In 2007, Simpson was hired as Leader in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Accession Number

A2007.249

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/9/2007

Last Name

Simpson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

James Wadsworth Elementary School

Hyde Park Academy High School

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Michigan

University of Iowa

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Carole

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

SIM08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Let Go And Let God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/7/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice

Short Description

Television news anchor Carole Simpson (1940 - ) was the first African American woman to become a Chicago television reporter, working for NBC affiliate, WMAQ-TV. She went on to become a Washington, D.C. correspondent for the NBC Nightly News, then joined ABC News as a correspondent eventually becoming Sunday anchor of ABC's World News Tonight.

Employment

WCFL Radio

WBBM Radio

WTTW TV

WMAQ-TV

NBC Nightly News

ABC World News Tonight

Emerson College

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carole Simpson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson describes her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson describes her parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson remembers the decline of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson lists her favorite books

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson describes her older sister

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson describes her sister's singing talent

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson remembers her sixth grade teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson remembers Chicago's newspapers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson remembers Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson remembers her grandfather's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Carole Simpson recalls her aspiration to become a journalist

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson recalls attending the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson recalls her internship at Congressman Gus Savage's newspaper

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson recalls working at the Chicago Public Library

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson describes her experiences in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls learning about color discrimination among African Americans

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson recalls her experiences of racial discrimination in Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson recalls her experiences of racial discrimination in Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson remembers civil right protests in the South

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson recalls her graduate studies at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Carole Simpson talks about her speaking voice

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson remembers joining WCFL Radio in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson recalls her experiences of harassment at WCFL Radio, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson recalls her experiences of harassment at WCFL Radio, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson talks about gender discrimination in journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls encountering racial discrimination during her career, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson recalls encountering racial discrimination during her career, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson recalls working at WBBM Radio in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson talks about her husband, James E. Marshall

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson remembers hosting 'Our People' on WTTW-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson recalls the growing number of black television reporters

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson remembers working at WMAQ-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson recalls the founding of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson talks about her news reporting style

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson recalls her early career in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls overcoming obstacles at NBC News in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson recalls overcoming obstacles at NBC News in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson recalls co-anchoring 'ABC Nightly News'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson remembers Max Robinson and Roone Arledge

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson recalls the challenges she faced at ABC in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson remembers advocating for equal pay at ABC, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson remembers advocating for equal pay at ABC, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson remembers Max Robinson

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls advocating for diversity at ABC

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson describes the history of news network ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson talks about freedom of speech

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson talks about her memorable news stories, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson talks about her memorable news stories, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson talks about her memorable news stories, pt. 3

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson remembers reporting on Nelson Mandela's release from prison

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson recalls moderating the second presidential debate in 1992

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson reflects upon her speaking style

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls establishing scholarships for journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

11$2

DATitle
Carole Simpson recalls her aspiration to become a journalist
Carole Simpson remembers advocating for equal pay at ABC, pt. 1
Transcript
You were part of, I think we were talking before we started, that you were part of the elite students at Hyde Park [Hyde Park High School; Hyde Park Academy High School, Chicago, Illinois], the smarter students, right?$$(Nods head).$$And so, did you--when you graduated, did you graduate with honors or anything?$$No honors, but I was in the Honor Society.$$Okay. The National Honor Society?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$And I, now you're getting to the important part of my life, and that is trying to become a journalist. I wanted to go to Northwestern University [Evanston, Illinois], which had the Medill School of Journalism [Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications]. And my parents [Doretha Wilbon Simpson and Lytle Simpson] and I had this big fight, because my mother wanted me to get a teaching degree. She was so afraid that I would not be able to take care of myself. You know, if a man left me, God forbid. It was important in her mind that I be able to work and have a job and be able to take care of myself, and teaching was certainly the thing that there was going to continue to be a need for. And she was like, "I don't know about this journalism. I think it's crazy. I mean that's like you wanting to be an actress or something. You're not going to make any money doing that. You can't do that. I mean, you get a teaching degree and then you try this journalism thing. But I want to make sure that you have a teaching certificate." And I was like, "Why should I waste my time? I don't want to teach. I'm not going to be a teacher. I really want to be a journalist." I mean we went back and forth, and back and forth. And finally, I guess I wore them down (laughter). I was stubborn as she was, but I wore her down. And she said, "Okay, if that's what you want to do." So I'm thinking I'm going to Northwestern. I live in Chicago [Illinois], and I've got good grades and all of these activities I was involved in, and I was on the high school newspaper. So, I went up to visit and I had a meeting with an admissions counselor. And he goes, "Why would you want to be a journalist?" And I said, "Because I like to write, I like to report, and that's really what I want to do with my life. I want to tell the stories of people. Communication, I mean it's so important." I was into my free press thing, and everything. And he said, "I'm sorry to tell you this, young lady, but you're not going to get a job in journalism. You ought to go to Chicago Teachers College [Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois] and become a nice English teacher." I couldn't believe that he said that, which is what my mother wanted me to do. And I was like, "But why can't I be a journalist? I don't want to be a teacher." And he said, "Well, all you're going to be able to work for is the Chicago Defender, or Jet magazine, or Ebony." I said, "No, I want to work for the Tribune [Chicago Tribune], I want to work for the Sun-Times [Chicago Sun-Times]." And he was going, "It's not going to happen." And he said, "You've got three strikes against you. You're a Negro, you're a woman, and you're inexperienced." And I said, "But you're going to give me the experience. I'm going to come to Northwestern (laughter). You're going to teach me how to be good." And he was saying, "You know, you have a nice record, and I think you really should consider being a teacher." So, sure enough, I got the rejection letter a couple of months later, saying, "We regret to inform you that you will not be entering our class of 19--" whatever, '59 [1959] or something. And it was just so hurtful to me, and I cried and cried and cried, and thought about what my mother said. And I was just so disappointed. But then I got mad.$So we decided that we, after several weeks of meeting, that we were going to confront management because--and we did a content analysis of all the shows, 'Nightline,' 'This Week with David Brinkley,' the 'World News Tonight' ['ABC World News Tonight], the overnight news. And my husband [James E. Marshall] did all of the documentation. We did all of the work of checking all of the rundowns and seeing when women appeared, when minorities appeared. And we got together unbelievable graphs and pie charts, and things that my husband made. As an engineer, he was good at that. And we could check out how many minorities were on, and how many--what shows had nobody. And we did it for three months. We did three months' worth of programs, and brought all of this documentation together. And I was chosen to be the spokesperson. They thought, "Well, she's black. They're not going to yell at her that much." (Laughter) And I was one of the senior people there. I was older than most of the younger correspondents, and I wasn't afraid to speak out about this. Again, you get tired of it. It's like I'm sick of hearing this. Why are we still fighting about this stuff in 1985? This is ridiculous. So, I became the spokesperson. And we chose as our opportunity to do this at a meeting, a luncheon that Roone [Roone Arledge] was having for Barbara Walters, who was receiving a big award in New York [New York]. And he thought it would be nice to have all of the women correspondents be there. So they came from all over the country, and the women in L.A. [Los Angeles, California], they didn't know what Washington [D.C.] had cooked up. So we had to get together with them quickly and said we're going to take this opportunity to--since all of top management is going to be here--to bring up this issue of institutional discrimination, that we do not have any women in any decision making roles at all. So, the luncheon was held. Barbara had to run off to do a piece for '20/20,' so the men were left there. And I'm waiting, I am a nervous wreck. It's like here are all these guys here, all of these white guys. I've got my sisters behind me (laughter), and I was the only African American. I was still the only African American correspondent there. And I was like, how am I--where am I going--when am I going to pick a chance to--how am I going to bring this up? (Laughter) How am I going to do it? And so when Barbara had to leave, I stood up and I said, "Well, Barbara, before you go, we just want to raise our glass to you and tell you what an inspiration you've been to all of us, and to thank you for the inroads you've made in making our jobs possible," and so on. And so she said, "Thank you," and we toasted our glasses. And I said, "While I have the floor--." And then I said, "I'd like you gentlemen to look at these documents." They didn't know what the heck was going on. And I had a speech which I memorized, so I could give it extemporaneously. So, I knew it. You know how you write it out and then you memorize it, and then you just talk it. So, I told them that, "We were in a situation, and there's no better chance where we'd get you all together than this, to tell you that we don't have any women doing this. We've done a content analysis of the show." That meeting went on. I gave my presentation and, you know, I raised the specter of legal action, just raised the specter, that some of this stuff, you know, some people might consider illegal to pay equity questions, things like that. And so then the other women joined in and started telling anecdotes of things, "That had happened to me--I covered this story, and then the story was assigned to another man. I'd been out there all day covering this and then you give it to so and so to put on the air. What's the deal? What is going on here?" And for the next two and a half hours we talked, and talked, and talked, and talked.

Russ Mitchell

CBS Newscaster Russ Mitchell was born Russell Edward Mitchell on March 25, 1960, in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1966, Mitchell’s family moved to Rock Hill, a St. Louis suburb. After a positive experience in a high school journalism class, Mitchell received the opportunity to work at St. Louis’ ABC-TV affiliate, KTVI-TV, where he remained for a year gaining experience in television news. In 1979, Mitchell began attending the University of Missouri, and was accepted into the university’s journalism school as a junior. In 1982, Mitchell graduated with his B.A. degree in journalism.

In 1982, Mitchell’s professional broadcasting career began at KMBC-TV in Kansas City, where he worked as a reporter trainee. In 1983, Mitchell moved to Dallas, Texas, where he served as the education and general assignment reporter for a morning news show called "Daybreak" at WFAA-TV. Mitchell moved back to St. Louis in 1985 where he worked as a full-time reporter for KTVI-TV; his two years at the station were spent producing an acclaimed series on the violent street gangs of neighboring East St. Louis, Illinois.

In 1987, Mitchell became a weekend anchor and daily reporter for CBS’s affiliate in St. Louis, KMOV-TV, where he would remain for five years. Mitchell was awarded the Best Reporter honor from Missouri’s United Press International in 1989, and one year later, his wife, Erica, gave birth to his first daughter. In 1992, Mitchell moved from KMOV to CBS’s news team, working as an anchor for the network’s news program "Up to the Minute", which covered stories from across the world. In 1993, Mitchell became a news correspondent for CBS’s "Eye to Eye" program, and spent time covering the United States operations in Haiti.

Mitchell became a Washington correspondent in 1995 and covered the GOP National Convention. Mitchell was the co-anchor of CBS’s "Saturday Early Show" in 1997 alongside Tracy Smith; that same year, he would receive an Emmy Award for his coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800. In 1999, Mitchell joined the "CBS Evening News Saturday Edition" team, and in 2002, he became a correspondent for CBS’s "Sunday Morning" program. In 2007, Mitchell was hired as a hard news anchor for CBS’ "Early Show".

Accession Number

A2007.101

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/20/2007

Last Name

Mitchell

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Ashland Branch

Webster Groves High School

University of Missouri

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Russ

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

MIT10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

The Guy Coming To See Me Today May Not Have Been Here Yesterday

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

3/25/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Television news anchor Russ Mitchell (1960 - ) worked in news broadcasting at television stations throughout Missouri and Texas before starting his long-term career with CBS.

Employment

KTVI-TV

KMBC-TV

WFAA-TV

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Russ Mitchell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Russ Mitchell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Russ Mitchell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Russ Mitchell describes his mother's teaching career in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Russ Mitchell talks about Edward J. Simmons School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Russ Mitchell describes his father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Russ Mitchell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Russ Mitchell describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Russ Mitchell remembers his neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Russ Mitchell talks about his siblings' support for his television career

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Russ Mitchell remembers his neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Russ Mitchell remembers Ashland Branch in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Russ Mitchell recalls early instances of racial discrimination, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Russ Mitchell recalls early instances of racial discrimination, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Russ Mitchell remembers African American newspapers in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Russ Mitchell describes his early reading interests

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Russ Mitchell remembers watching television news reports

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Russ Mitchell describes his early journalism interests

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Russ Mitchell remembers African American journalists in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Russ Mitchell talks about his education in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Russ Mitchell describes the Urban Journalism Workshop, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Russ Mitchell remembers his editorial on the apartheid in South Africa

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Russ Mitchell describes the Urban Journalism Workshop, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Russ Mitchell remembers the summer after his high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Russ Mitchell recalls his first impression of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Russ Mitchell remembers his African American professors at the University of Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Russ Mitchell remembers the University of Missouri in Columbia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Russ Mitchell describes the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Russ Mitchell describes his career prospects upon graduating from college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Russ Mitchell remembers the start of his journalism career

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Russ Mitchell recalls joining WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Russ Mitchell describes his early career at WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Russ Mitchell explains the roles of television anchors and reporters

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Russ Mitchell remembers anchoring WFAA-TV's 'News 8 Daybreak'

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

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DATitle
Russ Mitchell remembers watching television news reports
Russ Mitchell describes his early career at WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas
Transcript
But also if there was anything on television, anything that, you know, that was historical, or anything that they thought that I should know, they would sit me down in front of the TV (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) For example? Let's talk, what did you watch?$$I can remember back in it must have been 1973 the Watergate hearings. Them making me sit down and watch the Watergate hearings, especially when Barbara Jordan was on. My mother [Julia Hamilton Mitchell] would come in, "Barbara Jordan's on." I'm like thirteen years old, you know, what would I care about Barbara Jordan. But I remember sitting there and watching her, and just being, you know, just enthralled by her, and then becoming enthralled by the whole political process. When Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was assassinated in 1968, they sat me down, "We're going to watch this. We're going to watch the funeral, we're going to watch what happens here." I remember the day he was, I remember that day too. I was sitting at home.$$Tell me about that day.$$I was, I was just at home, and it was a--I don't know, it was a weekday night. I want to say it was a Tuesday, I'm not sure. But I was watching TV and there was a news bulletin that said Martin Luther King had been assassinated, and I remember telling my mother. And I had v- knowledge of who Martin Luther King was. Certainly not, you know, an extensive knowledge of who he was, but I certainly knew. And it reminded me, reminded me of, you know, five years earlier when John F. Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] was assassinated. It was interesting. For somebody of my age, forty-seven, the first--. Gosh, whenever you would say, whenever I would see a special report on television, whenever I would see, "This is a CBS News special report," or "An NB- ABC News special report," I assumed somebody was dead. Because for the first certainly ten years of my life that's what happened, and that stuck with me until probably the early, the early '80s [1980s]. I remember being in college [University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri] and watching when the pope [Saint Pope John Paul II] was shot, watching Dan Rather when the pope was shot. And then when I started doing this and I would do special reports, I went wow, somebody at home is thinking that the worst thing in the world is happening right now. And I think people of my generation, when you, if you were conscious of news and what was happening, that's what you thought. Whenever you saw a bulletin on television it meant that somebody was shot, somebody was dead.$I remember Paula [HistoryMaker Paula Madison] was teaching at Syracuse University [Syracuse, New York], and my best friend said (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Journalism?$$Journalism. And my best friend said, "This is my buddy, Russ [HistoryMaker Russ Mitchell], and he wants to go into TV." She said, "Don't go into TV, don't do it (gesture)." So when I walked into WFAA [WFAA-TV, Dallas, Texas], and I said, "Paula, you're the one who told me not to go into TV." And of course, the rest for Paula is history. I mean she's news director here in New York [New York], big honcho in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. So, Paula was there. There were a number of other people in the sales department. There was, well, I mean there was a pretty good support system there. So that wasn't an issue. But I mean you know you're twenty-two, twenty-three years old walking into a powerhouse station like that, it can be intimidating. But when you're that--when I first walked in there, I was too dumb to know (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And the challenges are that you're not good with sources, or that you don't know who to--what are the challenges?$$Well, I think in this business there are some people who are just naturals, who, you know, the first time they do it you can look at them and you can say, wow, this person gets it. And they have that intangible (air quotes) it about them. For most of us, you learn by doing. And if you haven't been doing it a long time, you may not know how to do that smooth, live shot. You may not be the best writer. You may not be the best at honing sources. You may not be the best at managing your time. You may be really eager to do whatever they tell you to do, and then you, you know, you're prone to make mistakes. So, in my case, and in the case of many people that I see who get into a situation like that, you just, you're just not quite ready for it. You haven't had the experience; you haven't been thrown into a situation where you really have to come to play in an environment like that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) But you stayed--I'm sorry, go ahead.$$I was there for two years.$$Yeah.$$Yeah.$$But within that time you were moved up to 'Daybreak' ['News 8 Daybreak']. Were you anchor there?$$Yeah, I mean I got better.$$Okay.$$I got better.$$And quickly, but--$$I got better. I mean in that kind of environment it's a sink or swim thing. And they renewed my contract after the first year, and then they made me anchor over the morning show, of 'Daybreak.'

Iola Johnson

Iola Vivian Johnson was born on October 10, 1950, in Texarkana, Arkansas, to Horace and Eurea Lee Johnson. Her father was a respected land owner and rancher. Johnson’s family moved to a predominantly white neighborhood Tucson, Arizona, when she was four years old. She attended Mills Elementary School and Mansfield Junior High School. Johnson graduated from Tucson High School in 1968 and attended the University of Arizona. She has degrees in political science and journalism.

Johnson was the first woman and the first African American to write for the ten o’clock news for the NBC affiliate KBOA in Tucson, Arizona. In 1973, Johnson was approached to take a position with WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas. She worked her way to becoming the first woman and the first black news anchor in Dallas. Johnson worked for WFAA-TV for more than 12 years, where she and co-anchor Tracy Rowlett had the longest running and most successful news anchor team in the history of the Dallas-Fort Worth television industry. Johnson became the highest paid local news anchor and the “Most Popular Woman in Dallas” according to Dallas Magazine.

Johnson left her job at the television station in 1984 to start her own business. A couple of years later, Johnson became the morning news anchor at radio station KKDA in Dallas, after spending a year in St. Louis, Missouri. She reappeared on television in 1990, where she once again teamed up with Tracy Rowlett, this time at the CBS affiliate in Dallas. She later became the host of a weekly community affairs show, Positively Texas on KTVT-TV in Dallas.

Johnson has been recognized numerous times for her excellence in journalism. She also received the Life Time Achievement Award from the Dallas-Forth Worth Association of Black Communicators.

Accession Number

A2006.088

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/3/2006

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Tucson High School

Mills Elementary School

Mansfield Junior High School

University of Arizona School of Law

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Iola

Birth City, State, Country

Texarkana

HM ID

JOH28

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Kleberg Foundation

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii, Italy

Favorite Quote

God Doesn't Make Mistakes.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/10/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mexican Food

Short Description

Television news anchor and television host Iola Johnson (1950 - ) was the first woman and the first African American news anchor in Dallas, running a highly successful co-anchor team with Tracy Rowlett for over 12 years. She was also morning news anchor at Dallas radio station KKDA, and later became the host of a weekly community affairs show, 'Positively Texas,' on KTVT-TV in Dallas.

Employment

WFAA-TV

KTVT-TV

KKDA AM

KVOA-TV

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:1280,24:7030,152:7880,184:10685,211:11280,220:12385,238:13405,252:13915,259:14595,264:16890,299:17230,304:25650,379:27329,403:30979,476:31490,484:37100,552:37452,557:38244,569:49540,724:53515,801:54040,810:54790,824:55540,835:59290,889:59740,899:60715,921:61090,927:61465,941:61840,947:65390,964:66210,975:71450,1032:71825,1038:72425,1048:80329,1147:80977,1160:89563,1370:90859,1400:94580,1407:95630,1430:96005,1436:97505,1466:98105,1476:108400,1631:109030,1667:112740,1741:113160,1748:113650,1756:114140,1765:114490,1771:115400,1786:122110,1831:129118,1921:130684,1947:136603,2020:141823,2114:147400,2143:148505,2172:148765,2177:149285,2190:149610,2196:151170,2227:151430,2232:152600,2255:153575,2279:154095,2290:154420,2296:154940,2305:155330,2312:156305,2336:158385,2382:159295,2401:162220,2497:168262,2522:170400,2531:170968,2536:173078,2547:173925,2561:174387,2568:175619,2586:176389,2597:176697,2602:177082,2608:177852,2619:178391,2634:181009,2687:181625,2696:182780,2718:184012,2748:184551,2757:188270,2766:189614,2795:190702,2821:190958,2826:191662,2839:192046,2845:197870,2982:198254,2988:199406,3012:199726,3018:199982,3026:200238,3031:203160,3037$0,0:2126,42:2558,49:3350,61:20986,363:21454,370:22000,378:22780,397:23170,403:26056,431:26992,446:29714,496:31370,528:33113,539:33397,544:44844,683:45168,688:54306,783:55153,795:57078,823:62929,880:70797,957:71365,965:72288,982:79540,1053:87010,1173:87410,1179:91490,1257:91890,1263:97274,1323:99068,1351:99692,1360:106940,1437:107920,1458:108340,1465:109530,1488:109880,1494:110440,1506:110720,1511:111000,1516:114220,1573:121485,1672:127725,1805:128960,1840:129415,1848:138282,1937:138856,1948:139266,1954:145504,2013:146096,2023:146392,2028:152386,2137:152830,2144:160758,2210:161248,2216:161836,2223:162228,2230:163208,2242:167128,2296:167520,2301:176796,2366:177141,2372:180235,2382:181425,2398:181765,2403:183266,2410:185698,2455:188928,2477:189152,2482:192820,2539:198454,2604:198894,2610:203638,2676:203954,2681:204902,2697:207509,2734:207904,2740:208773,2752:209642,2766:210669,2782:214540,2837:230287,2997:230722,3003:232462,3026:233593,3039:241254,3146:246714,3257:254750,3328:255450,3339:255870,3346:256430,3357:257970,3396:276670,3644
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Iola Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Iola Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Iola Johnson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Iola Johnson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Iola Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Iola Johnson recalls how her parents met and had their children

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Iola Johnson talks about her maternal family's history of landownership

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Iola Johnson lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Iola Johnson describes her experiences in elementary school in Tucson, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Iola Johnson describes her personality during childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Iola Johnson describes the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Iola Johnson recalls her favorite childhood extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Iola Johnson describes holidays in her childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Iola Johnson recalls her experiences at Tucson's Mansfeld Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Iola Johnson describes the demographics of Mansfeld Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Iola Johnson recalls how she was influenced by the events of the 1960s, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Iola Johnson recalls how she was influenced by the events of the 1960s, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Iola Johnson describes her experiences at Tucson High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Iola Johnson recalls working full-time while attending college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Iola Johnson recalls her job at the telephone company in Tucson, Arizona

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Iola Johnson describes her experiences at the University of Arizona in Tucson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Iola Johnson describes the African American community at the University of Arizona

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Iola Johnson recalls her start in the television news industry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Iola Johnson recalls becoming a local news anchor in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Iola Johnson describes challenges as an African American female news anchor

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Iola Johnson recalls leaving television news to start her own business

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Iola Johnson describes returning to work in television news in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Iola Johnson recalls leaving KTVT-TV in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Iola Johnson describes her family life and love of horses

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Iola Johnson describes her mother's career

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Iola Johnson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Iola Johnson offers advice to those considering a career in journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Iola Johnson recalls reporting on the refugee crisis in East Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Iola Johnson narrates her photographs

DASession

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DATitle
Iola Johnson recalls her start in the television news industry
Iola Johnson recalls becoming a local news anchor in Dallas, Texas
Transcript
You're getting ready to graduate from college [University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona].$$Um-hm.$$Tell me what's going on in your life?$$Well, I started looking for a job, and the only jobs that were forthcoming were for very conservative newspapers in places like Springfield, Illinois or someplace like that, you know, and decided I really didn't want to do that. And my major professor in journalism suggested that I try a television station, and I did and was hired on my writing ability. And I didn't want to leave home at the time because I was very close to my mother [Eurea Lee Hubbard Johnson], and I had a young niece who I was crazy about and she was a little, little one who, you know, needed some guidance and direction and that sort of thing. And--so I didn't want to leave home, so I ended up working for a television station and breaking down some barriers as I said for women and minorities, being the first woman and the first black hired by a television station in Tucson [Arizona]. And worked there for about three years and then I was discovered. A man called one day and said, "I'm a seventy-three-year-old man. I'm not trying to be funny or anything but how would you like to work in Dallas [Texas]?" And I thought, no, never thought about it. You know, to me Dallas was still the city where Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] was assassinated. And, you know, people still thought of it in those terms. And he said, "Well, I think you should really look into this. I think you'd be great in Dallas." And, I wasn't particularly interested, but he mentioned my name to the folks at the ABC affiliate [WFAA-TV, Dallas, Texas], which is locally owned in Dallas/Fort Worth [Texas] and they also own The Dallas Morning News and other newspapers and businesses. And they flew me down. And the first time I came down, I was not terribly impressed and they offered me a--I think a job doing the noon news as an anchor. And I was doing weekend news in Tucson, and didn't particularly like what I saw in Dallas so I turned the job down. About a year and a half later, they came back and asked me to come to work for them again. And at this point, I was about ready to leave. I wanted--I'd done everything and learned everything there was to learn in a small training market like Tucson. So, I was ready to, you know, spread my wings and I was thinking seriously about moving out to San Diego [California], which is my--one of my favorite cities in the whole country. And, so I came down and this time I ran into a couple people that had made the transition from local television station to the network. And I thought, ah ha, this could be a real stepping stone for me. And my ambition at that point was to become a national correspondent for one of the networks, and I wanted to work somewhere in South America drinking tall cool ones every day and filing an occasional report. (Laughter) I just, you know, could envision myself working in South America. Why? I'm not quite sure at this point.$Anyway, I took the job and I remember the police information officer in Tucson [Arizona] saying to me when he found out that I was coming to Dallas [Texas], "You know that's where they shoot presidents, don't you?" This was in 1973. And, oddly enough, I came to work for the television station on the anniversary of my father's [Horace Johnson] birthday, and I didn't realize that until several years later, May 19, 1973. And I started as the weekend co-anchor [at WFAA-TV, Dallas, Texas] and reporting three days during the week. And then eventually worked my way up to the six and ten o'clock Monday through Friday anchor job, and became the highest paid local anchor, and the most popular woman in Dallas according to D Magazine, the Dallas magazine. It was a rough ride, an interesting ride. But again, being the first at anything does have its drawbacks and there is a price to be paid for that. A lot of negatives involved with being the first African American and the first woman anchor in a market the size of Dallas/Fort Worth [Texas].$$Were there other women in news?$$As reporters, yes (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) (Unclear) Reporters only. Okay. In other markets, did you see any other blacks in other markets?$$No, I'd never seen a black woman on television. I think I was one of the first in the country, and definitely the first in Texas.$$Why do you think you were so popular as an anchor?$$Well, one of the things that a lot of people said to me, especially older people, was that they could understand every word I said, that my voice was so clear and my diction so distinct that they--and, you know. I, once in a while, will be sitting at home today and I'll listen to an anchor person or somebody do a tease, and I don't understand a word they've said, for example. But people always said that they could clearly understand me even with their back turned to the television, they could understand every word. And older people, especially, liked that. And it was interesting--I think the fact that maybe I wasn't as threatening maybe as a woman if I'd been wearing, you know, an afro, maybe if I'd had darker skin, maybe if I talked a little more ethnic. Who knows? All of those things that I didn't have were maybe not as threatening to the white viewers as they would have otherwise been. That's my only explanation. The one thing that I am proud of is the fact that I think my being on television and my being so popular did a lot for race relations in Dallas/Fort Worth. People don't talk about that and don't come out and say it, but I think it really made a major difference.$$And then tell me why you think that, or how?$$People were willing for the first time in many cases to accept a black person into their home on television, for example, and all of a sudden. Okay, well, maybe black people aren't so terrible after all. There's Iola [HistoryMaker Iola Johnson], she's on TV. We like her. Maybe we shouldn't be so racist or so, whatever. I never encountered any racial hostility or animosity as a black anchorwoman. People--and it used to surprise me, to be perfectly honest with you. I would go out to interview older whites and they would, you know, "We love you Iola," and they would welcome me into their homes. And I'm like, I'm sure you didn't feel this way ten years ago, twenty years ago, that sort of thing. And it always, it always surprised me how well and warmly I was received by these people who obviously had at some point in their lives probably harbored a lot of racist views, and, you know, who knows what they've done. And I was always a little surprised by that.

Diann Burns

Diann Burns was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 1958, the daughter of a Methodist preacher. Surrounded by extended family for most of her childhood, she recalls the support and generosity she received growing up. Her immediate family relocated several times when she was a child, briefly living in Pittsburgh and then Cincinnati, before returning to Cleveland, where Burns remained through college and young adulthood. Diann took an interest in theater and acted during her high school and college years. After pursuing a career on stage, she turned to journalism.

Burns graduated from Columbia University's prestigious Graduate School of Journalism, and worked as a general assignment reporter at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She then moved on to become a sports editor, photographer and reporter at the black-owned Cleveland Call and Post, and later entered broadcasting with the Independent Network News of New York. In 1994, Burns was named co-anchor of the ten o'clock news at the ABC Chicago affiliate WLS-7, becoming the first African American woman to occupy such a position.

Burns is committed to numerous charitable organizations, most notably the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Support Group, an organization that assists high school students with school work and home life by providing tutorial and social services. She is also involved in the fight against pediatric AIDS.

Accession Number

A2001.006

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

5/23/2001

Last Name

Burns

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Lincoln Elementary School

Taylor Junior High School

Cleveland Heights High School

Cleveland State University

Columbia University

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Diann

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

BUR01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

McCormick Tribune Foundation

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

God will never put on you more than you can bear.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/29/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Macaroni, Cheese

Short Description

Television news anchor Diann Burns (1958 - ) was the first African American woman to anchor prime time news in Chicago on ABC’s WLS-7.

Employment

WPIX TV

WCMH TV

WLS TV

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Diann Burns interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Diann Burns lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Diann Burns talks about her mother's origins

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Diann Burns talks about her father's origins

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Diann Burns names her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Diann Burns talks about her earliest memories as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Diann Burns describes the Ohio neighborhood of her youth

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Diann Burns reflects on what it was like being a minister's daughter

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Diann Burns describes her personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Diann Burns talks about her personality, her schooling and her sister's death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Diann Burns recalls her childhood personality and her love for the theater

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Diann Burns talks about her early theater experiences and some of her roles

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Diann Burns talks more about her early theater experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Diann Burns discusses her father's thoughts on her acting career and her decision to go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Diann Burns recalls her decision to transfer colleges and go to New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Diann Burns talks about her experiences in New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Diann Burns recalls the work atmosphere and racism in her early TV broadcasting career

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Diann Burns recalls her TV broadcasting experiences in New York and Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Diann Burns talks about her early female role models in television

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Diann Burns talks about her news anchor experiences in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Diann Burns talks about her move to Chicago television

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Diann Burns shares her advice to blacks entering the television broadcasting industry

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Diann Burns talks about how she succeeded in the television broadcasting industry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Diann Burns recalls her job progression at Channel 7 in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Diann Burns discusses how she got the prime anchor spot at Channel 7

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Diann Burns talks about the work environment at Channel 7

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Diann Burns talks about the surprises in her job

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Diann Burns details how she met her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Diann Burns talks about her career and her parents' view of her success

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Diann Burns talks about her legacy and shares a story about mentorship

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Photo - Diann Burns at six months old, Cleveland, Ohio, 1956

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - Diann Burns as sports editor for the 'Cleveland Press' newspaper, Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - Diann Burns in a fashion photo shoot, Chicago, Illinois, 1986-1987

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Diann Burns's senior photo at Cleveland Heights High School, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 1974

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Diann Burns in her dormitory room at Columbia University, New York, New York, early 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Diann Burns with photographer Art Campbell on assignment in Somalia for WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois, 1993

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Diann Burns's maternal grandmother, Mary Newbern and her uncle, Robert Christian

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Diann Burns and Pam Rubenstein, Cleveland Heights High School, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, early 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Diann Burns performing with the Temptations, Chicago, Illinois, 1987-1988

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Diann Burns with her roommates Sabrina and Gina while a graduate student at Columbia University, New York, ca. early 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Peter Jennings, Diann Burns and Alan Krashesky cover the Democratic Convention for WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois, 1996

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Diann Burns's class photo from the second grade, Lincoln Elementary School, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Diann Burns in Somalia on assignment for WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois, 1993

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Bill Campbell, Telma Hopkins, Harry Porterfield and Diann Burns host the Bud Billiken Parade for WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois, 1989

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Diann Burns with Co-Anchor John Drury, WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois, 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Diann Burns's publicity photo for WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois, 1985

Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Diann Burns and NBA basketball player, Charles Oakley, 1986

Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Diann Burns interviewing singer Al B. Sure for WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois, 1986

Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Diann Burns's husband, Marc Watts, on the cover of the 'National Association of Black Journalists Journal,' September/October 1996

Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Diann Burns in a Karamu House performance of 'for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,' Cleveland, Ohio, 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Diann Burns in the article, "Making it on Merit," by Michael Leiderman for 'North Shore' magazine, January, 1991

Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Diann Burns with her graduating class from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York, New York, 1981

Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Diann Burns in an article by Jane Ammeson for 'Chicago Life' magazine, Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1995

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Diann Burns talks about her experiences in New York
Diann Burns discusses how she got the prime anchor spot at Channel 7
Transcript
Now how was that experience, living in New York and, you know, going to journalism school, and you know and--? I mean, how was that--and what year are we at?$$This is 19--. I moved there in 1980 and there were a bunch of rules. You weren't allowed to work while you were there. I wrote--I'd applied for a bunch of scholarships. I got a good scholarship from Scripps Howard [Foundation], which I'm thankful to this day. And so I went there in the fall of 1980 and since you're not allowed to work, you really have to focus. And there's a lot of things that you're not allowed to do because they don't want the distractions and they're serious (with emphasis). Though, you know, a couple of people I know were asked to leave and, you know, it's kind of a waste of time. So I hung around, and you learn a lot there. You are forced to, because you're not allowed to bring--you're not allowed to use a car. You're not allowed to take a cab--you have to--they give you a map and they give you the schedule for the trains and buses, and that's how you have to get around. And so you learn the city and you're forced to go right to the same assignments as the reporters from the 'New York Times' [newspaper] and the reporters from the TV stations and you have to come back and do your version and they compare them to what the professionals were doing. You weren't allowed to like call in sick or anything. You couldn't be late. There were just all these rules like you had a real job and it was real and you had to do magazine, newspaper, television, radio. You had to do every job there was in every single facet of media and then at the end, you sort of make a decision. So, I hung around this one TV station in New York, WPIX and I went there on the weekends just to see, 'cause I didn't really get it (with emphasis). I came from newspaper and--you know, they were saying all this stuff about the tapes, and, you know, how to put a story together, but I didn't quite--it didn't really click. So, I went to the station, I'm like, "Can I just like, you know, hang around, you know, practice writing and tell me if I'm really getting it?" And there were some people who were great and they looked at my stories and they even sneaked a couple of them on the air a few times, and I was like, "All proud I wrote that story," you know, and after I graduated, they hired me. And I had decided when I flew on the airplane and moved there that I was never leaving New York. I saw the skyline. I saw the people rushing around, the energy, and I just thought, "This is where I am supposed to be." So, it was really easy for me to be there. I wasn't scared. You know, I took your typical precautions, but I absolutely loved New York and so, I got into it, and when I worked at the TV station, I had an apartment. I had roommates and then I lived by myself for a while, and I just--I worked there for--you know, after I left school. I learned a lotta lot about urban life and just careers and competition and ambition. New York, if you don't have ambition, if you're not competitive, it's not going to happen. And you just get the energy from the people there and you just go.$And, so did an agent play a role in this at all or was it [Joseph] Joe Ahern [General Manager at WLS-TV, Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois], I mean, what do you think?$$Well, you know--me, talking, I mean I'm not the type--the bragadocious type or whatever, but clearly I was the best candidate at the time. I worked hard--I worked hard when I came there. I still work hard, and my thing is, I don't want there to be a tossup. I don't want to go in and ask, "Can I have that job?"--"Can I apply for that job?" I work hard enough so it's clear that if there's a job open, my name is the first name that comes across your lips and across your mind and there's no doubt about it, and from what they tell me, there was no doubt about it. There was never another option. Nobody was ever in the running. I was never competing with somebody that last two weeks or whatever for the job and I don't worry about it. I don't wait 'til there's a job opening or hear about a job opening and work hard until I get it. I work hard because I love what I do and there are always stories to tell and there's always some interesting issue out there, and if there's something better for me to move ahead, I'll move ahead. I'm not the type who says, "You know, one day, I want to do the ten o'clock [P.M.] news." Maybe not. One day, I'll do something else other than what I was doing. Maybe it was going to network, I don't know. But I just worked hard--I worked hard, and I was, you know--and even up to the late day when it was--what year--I mean we're talking the '90s [1990s], and somebody said to me, "You know, it's gonna be kind of, you know, scary for him, I mean--," the General Manager at the time, Joe Ahern, "--I mean can you really (with emphasis) put a black person on the ten o'clock [P.M.] news?" I'm thinking, "Here it is, the late '90s [1990s], and we're still talking about this." And (pause) "What's that?" and, you know, I said, you know, "Who else did you have in mind?" And in that case are we saying, "I shouldn't get the job because I'm black suddenly (with emphasis)?" You know, or, "That job should really go to a white person." What goes through your mind to think something like that? Of course not. So, I told them, "You know what? When you work hard enough and you're smart enough to run a station, you can pick whoever you want to be on the ten o'clock [P.M.] news. But I'm smarter than anybody that is in the running, I'm better than anybody that's in the running, and that's all there is, you know, to choose from. So, I'm not worried about it." And I guess it forced me to be a little more outspoken about my abilities because after a while you just get so tired of people challenging, challenging, when they can see the work you've done. When they can see the work you've done and--to get there educationally. I mean, I've got more on my resume than most of those people do, combined (with emphasis), so why shouldn't I get the job? Why shouldn't I? I didn't sit at home twiddling my fingers about it and, to tell you the truth, they told me as soon as the job was open, I was gonna get it. So, what am I sitting here worrying about, "Oh, should I go up there and ask?" I've never asked for a job in my life because I was the obvious choice, and that's all. If I know I'm working hard, I'm gonna be the obvious choice and that's why I work hard.