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Billye Aaron

Nonprofit executive and television personality Billye Aaron was born on October 16, 1936 in Anderson County, Texas to Nathan Suber and Annie Mae Smith Suber. She attended Clemons School in Neches, Texas and later graduated from Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas in 1954. In 1958, she graduated from Texas College in Tyler, Texas with her B.A. degree in English. She received a fellowship to attend Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated with her M.A. degree in 1960. Aaron continued her post-graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

Aaron taught English in the Atlanta public school system, at Spelman College, Morehouse College, South Carolina State College and Morris Brown College. In 1968, she was hired as a co-host for WSB-TV’s ‘Today in Georgia,’ becoming the first African American woman in the southeast to co-host a daily, hour-long talk show. In 1973, she married baseball legend Hank Aaron and began hosting her weekly talk show, ‘Billye,’ for WTMJ-TV. In 1980, she served as the development director for the Atlanta branch of the United Negro College Fund. Throughout her fourteen-year tenure with the organization, she co-hosted the annual telethon, ‘Lou Rawls Parade of Stars,’ co-founded the Mayor’s MASKED Ball and became the second woman in the organization to serve as vice president of the southern region. After retiring in 1994, she and her husband started the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation to award scholarships to assist the education of low-income children.

A longtime member of the NAACP, Aaron chaired its premiere fundraiser, the annual Freedom Fund Dinner, for five years. She was named director emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and has been honored with numerous awards for her service, including the 2003 Martin Luther King, Jr. “Salute to Greatness” and the YWCA Woman of Achievement award.

Aaron and her husband, Hank Aaron's children include Ceci Haydel, Aaron’s daughter from her first marriage, and Gaile, Hank, Jr., Lary and Dorinda, from Hank Aaron’s first marriage. They also have two grandchildren, Emily Jewel and Victor Aaron Haydel.

Billye Aaron was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 1, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.065

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/1/2016

Last Name

Aaron

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Suber

Schools

Lincoln High School

Texas College

Clark Atlanta University

University of California, Berkeley

Clemons High School

Mound Prairie Institute

First Name

Billye

Birth City, State, Country

Anderson County

HM ID

AAR02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas, Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Help Me To Do Unto Others As I Would Have Them Do Unto Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/16/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Nonprofit executive and television personality Billye Aaron (1936 - ) hosted 'Today in Georgia' and 'Billye,' and served as a regional vice president of the United Negro College Fund.

Employment

Atlanta Public Schools

Spelman College

Morehouse College

South Carolina State College

Morris Brown College

WSB-TV Atlanta

WTMJ-TV Milwaukee

United Negro College Fund

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:2874,44:21344,241:33256,380:42226,430:51766,524:55497,621:58045,657:77770,1026:81968,1063:104580,1328:105030,1378:110726,1398:118896,1535:127730,1604:146102,1881:174940,2191:183573,2290:183857,2295:196700,2440:202430,2514:208500,2596:208844,2601:209188,2606:213930,2663$0,0:1552,21:2176,33:2566,39:4438,78:4750,83:7284,127:11378,212:11734,217:12624,228:33570,405:33895,411:34155,416:37161,444:43460,525:46470,582:47760,601:56194,698:65394,794:73260,846:73824,854:77246,885:77820,893:78148,898:83806,959:85886,987:94931,1061:95405,1068:96669,1126:105047,1199:108122,1236:116666,1323:117010,1328:117526,1336:117870,1343:119074,1362:121138,1403:122256,1440:135879,1579:137214,1601:141575,1675:158260,1853:163434,1900:167570,1962:176664,2054:178232,2075:185465,2125:187505,2149:187930,2155:188780,2166:189290,2213:190225,2229:190650,2235:192460,2240:193426,2260:198470,2297:205821,2408:218074,2577:229042,2703:229450,2708:230266,2718:237495,2831:237830,2837:239304,2862:239572,2867:242580,2898:243756,2926:244092,2931:250056,3053:250560,3061:258528,3155:259608,3173:260904,3196:261192,3201:261552,3207:261984,3214:262488,3222:264072,3253:264864,3265:274586,3370:275071,3376:286004,3476:286444,3482:288908,3525:290580,3550:291108,3557:291636,3564:295244,3647:295596,3654:296564,3670:305095,3758:305395,3769:307602,3781:314709,3868:315135,3876:315561,3883:320878,3957:321142,3964:327142,4161:327830,4170:333678,4258:334108,4264:334796,4273:336258,4292:336602,4297:336946,4302:346854,4426:347736,4436:348912,4449:354160,4487:354620,4492:355080,4497:355540,4502:356575,4513:363140,4585
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Billye Aaron's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Billye Aaron remembers her paternal grandmother's farm

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Billye Aaron describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Billye Aaron recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron describes her early interest in television

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron remembers her classmates at Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron recalls attending Texas College in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron remembers enrolling at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron talks about her first husband

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron recalls her teaching experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Billye Aaron recalls commuting to Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron describes the civil rights activities of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron recalls her first husband's relationship with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron remembers the night of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron remembers the night of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron talks about the aftermath of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron talks about the contention between the black church leaders in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Billye Aaron remembers the challenges of desegregating Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Billye Aaron talks about her first husband's religious affiliations

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron remembers joining WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron describes her experiences as co-host of 'Today in Georgia'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron remembers the death of her first husband

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron recalls her early relationship with Hank Aaron

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron talks about her life after marrying Hank Aaron

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron talks about her involvement with the NAACP

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron describes her experiences in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Billye Aaron remembers working for the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Billye Aaron describes her work with the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron talks about Hank Aaron's philanthropy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron describes the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron talks about her scholarship endowments

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron describes her and husband's business ventures

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
Billye Aaron remembers the night of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, pt. 2
Billye Aaron describes the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation
Transcript
So anyway, Coretta [Coretta Scott King] was preparing to get the, get a flight to Memphis [Tennessee] and she invited us back, as I said. We talked. She said that Mayor Allen [Ivan Allen, Jr.] was on his way to pick her up and that he had called to get the--see if he could get the plane delayed because otherwise she would never make the flight. It was a rainy, nasty kind of night, drizzly night and she--well we stayed back there with her while she packed. Maybe, maybe ten minutes. It may not have been that long. When we were told that the mayor was there. So we went out. Mayor Allen came to me to ask if I would mind--if I knew the city. Of course I know the city. Said, "Would you mind riding with Louise [Louise Allen] to the airport [Atlanta Municipal Airport; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia] because she doesn't know the city," and the police cars they would be going as fast as they could go so of course I agreed. So I left my car there. I got in the car with Mrs. Allen who drove and we followed to a degree the police car. Of course they lost us and we about fifteen or so minutes maybe twenty minutes later, we got to the airport and when we got to the airport we found I mean we were told at the desk what am I saying? You know what I'm trying to say where the people were to put, to check in on the flight, we were told that they were in a bathroom. I can't remember whether it was a male bathroom or a female bathroom but when we got, when we opened the door to go into the bathroom and they were standing there in a huddle obviously crying because it was Coretta, Dora McDonald [Dora E. McDonald] who had gotten, who had arrived, Christine [HistoryMaker Christine King Farris], the mayor and, and I believe a policeman was in there but I'm not 100 percent sure. I might have that wrong. But anyway they were standing there in a huddle and Mayor Allen looked up at us and did kind of you know message, he didn't make it was the message that we got and surely enough he [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] had passed. So he asked Coretta after a while what she wanted to do. Because they had held the plane and she said, "Well I'll go back home and see about my children." So that was that. And we went back. I went back again and with Ms.--she went in the police car, I followed with Mrs. Allen in her car and I stayed for a while and I went on home too. But people had begun to arrive at her house so I don't, I don't know who they were. And I can't even tell you how many there were, but--there weren't many but they were there to, you know, to do whatever I guess they could do.$Now Chasing the--the Chasing the Dream Foundation that was founded by you and your husband, [HistoryMaker] Hank Aaron, tell us about it? In fact I asked him about it and he said ask you (laughter). He said you know everything about it and can explain it a lot better so we're depending on you.$$Well, I, I just had a conversation with him and, and asked him if he would consider doing a foundation that would help youngsters. I had seen the documentary that Mike Tollin [Michael Tollin] did on him and it was called or is called 'Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream' and that was what really gave me the idea. After seeing him in his early days running across the, whatever some kind of patch across from his home with bottle tops and a stick trying to hit a baseball and it just sort of brought home to me how many of us and particularly our kids come up with little or nothing but who somehow make something out of little of nothing. And I realized as I did when I was growing up, well having the desire to participate in various activities at school but they almost always require that you have some money. You even had to have money at least to buy clothes or to go to an event to showcase what little talent you might have. So we came up with the idea why not use the same name that Mike used for the documentary and just turn it into a foundation. So we call it the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation [Atlanta, Georgia] and we started raising money so we could help kids who just needed a hand really who needed in some instances they needed somebody to pay for the piano lessons. Their parents couldn't pay for piano lessons or they needed somebody to pay for tennis lessons or whatever their interest might be. So we agreed that we would start this little foundation and try to serve as that middleman to help get the kid to the person that can do the most for them to develop, help them to develop their talent. So that's it just kind of grew from that and we proudly recognized the talents of a few of our kids who are really, really outstanding now. We have a young man now who is, well I'll start with Mason. Mason went from Brown elementary school [Brown Middle School, Atlanta, Georgia] down here a few miles away from us and started taking harp lessons. There's a lady here who Roselyn Lewis who just has done marvelous things with a lot of our kids because you don't expect kids from the inner city to be playing the harp or the cello or whatever, whatever but she, she gets them involved, specifically the harp is her area of interest and she has started a foundation, but Mason Morton was one of her students and he of course started taking harp. Then when he got out of high school he went on to he got a scholarship to Michigan [University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan]. He followed his, his music teacher from Michigan to Rice University in Houston [Texas], graduated in Houston and we were helping him all along the way. Not--helping him is the key word here. We weren't--I don't wanna think want you to think that we were footing the bill because we couldn't possibly, we were not that large an organization or foundation but we were there to help him with those things that he really desperately needed that scholarship money and other funds did not take care of. Mason--today Mason, he's a member. I don't know if I--of a group called Serendip [Sons of Serendip] and they were on 'America's Got Talent' and they have cut two or three records now, he and a little group, but he also teaches harp in the public school system in Boston [Boston Public Schools]. So we are so, so proud of him. Then we have a young man who's working toward his Ph.D. at Juilliard [The Juilliard School] in New York [New York] and he's been, been in our program since he was ten or twelve or something like that so these are just two of the really, really outstanding ones and others some of we just made good, good citizens. We have a young lady who went to Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee] who was a Phi Beta Kappa [Phi Beta Kappa Society] who is--who went to Yale [Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut] and got her master's degree. We stay in close touch with her and she is now in some field of healthcare. I can't remember what precisely but they come home generally at Christmas and we have them over for our big New Year's Eve and they perform for us and we, we just have a wonderful relationship with several of the kids who have had very good high school and college careers and who are now in the broader community and doing well.

Steve Baskerville

Broadcast meteorologist Steve Baskerville was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1950. He attended the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University and graduated from there in 1972 with his B.S. degree in communications. Later, in 2006, Baskerville earned a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. He received his American Meteorological Society (AMS) Seal of Approval in 2007.

In 1972, Baskerville began his broadcasting career and was hired by the Philadelphia School District Office of Curriculum where he hosted a children’s show on public radio. He then joined KYW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, from 1977 to 1984. While there, Baskerville worked as a weatherman, co-hosted a morning talk show with Maurice “Maury” Povich, and hosted a daily children’s program which was honored by Action for Children’s Television. In 1984, Baskerville was hired by CBS as a broadcast meteorologist on their “Morning News” segment, making him the first African American network weatherman. Then, in 1987, he became the weatherman for WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois.

Baskerville’s interest in children’s programming led him to host a two-hour special, “Dealing with Dope.” He also co-hosted a children’s issues program for WCBS-TV titled, “What If.”
In addition, Baskerville has displayed his diverse skills by hosting projects such as “Thanks to Teachers,” a salute to area educators; “Taste of the Taste,” a half-hour live broadcast from the Taste of Chicago; the “All-City Jamboree,” a high school talent competition; and “Beautiful Babies,” a public service campaign.

Baskerville has been honored for excellence throughout his career. In 1999, he won an Emmy Award for the news feature series, “Best of Chicago”; and, in 2001, he was honored by the Illinois Broadcasters Association for “Best Weather Segment.” Baskerville served as host for CBS 2 Chicago’s Emmy-Award winning program, “Sunday! With Steve Baskerville!” He received local Emmy Awards for his work on CBS 2’s 2004 broadcast of the LaSalle Bank of Chicago Marathon, and his coverage of the deadly tornado in Utica, Illinois in 2004. In addition, he received an Emmy Award in 2005 for the news feature, “Steve’s Getaway Guide.” In 2006, Baskerville earned several more local Emmy Awards including the “Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence.”

Baskerville and his wife live in Glenview, Illinois. They have two children: Aaron Baskerville and Sheena Baskerville.

Steve Baskerville was interviewed by The HistoryMakers August 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.238

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/24/2013

Last Name

Baskerville

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Stephen

Schools

Temple University

Mississippi State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Herman

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

BAS04

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

It Is Better To Have And Not Need Than To Need And Not Have.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/12/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Television personality and weatherman Steve Baskerville (1950 - ) was hired by CBS in 1984, making him the first African American network weatherman. In 1987, he joined WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois where he earned several local Emmy Awards.

Employment

CBS News

KYW TV Philadelphia

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:3552,71:13666,272:14096,278:34480,484:36950,515:37330,520:45425,620:46322,636:51478,680:57126,741:57855,756:58179,761:60366,801:63768,874:65550,904:66117,912:68709,963:80222,1053:83678,1106:88336,1165:88628,1170:90015,1196:90380,1202:96550,1273:96965,1279:98044,1299:108570,1417:108990,1423:114198,1526:114786,1534:115962,1556:116382,1567:124142,1653:129014,1757:132090,1770:132678,1777:148028,1995:148977,2014:150291,2034:165960,2209:167328,2241:168088,2259:171204,2317:171508,2322:171888,2328:172572,2341:173256,2354:186980,2499:187548,2508:190520,2529:196181,2615:197758,2649:198090,2654:204612,2750:205728,2763:228266,3037:228840,3046:240400,3143:241618,3160:250496,3296:251192,3305:257543,3459:271190,3567$0,0:9517,150:10229,162:25240,274:32669,416:33054,422:34748,460:40369,564:40754,570:50992,664:77050,932:80570,966:81675,982:82270,990:84480,1030:85075,1038:88710,1069:89622,1081:93938,1128:112816,1339:113590,1351:114192,1359:117546,1414:121580,1464:126140,1547:145892,1737:146272,1743:146804,1752:147868,1773:149996,1821:150300,1826:159804,1888:160266,1897:160926,1908:164180,1967:175558,2113:183531,2155:183959,2160:187529,2176:187924,2182:206740,2424:207230,2433:208700,2462:209470,2479:213154,2519:216882,2572:219690,2618:223668,2716:224292,2793:232606,2866:239775,2948:240244,2957:240512,2962:244200,2976:244432,2981:245070,2993:267304,3256:268008,3266:268360,3271:287733,3495:291164,3554:291456,3587:291967,3598:304320,3746:319020,3857
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Steve Baskerville's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville describes his mother, Mary Baskerville

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about experiencing racism

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about his mother's career as a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes his maternal grandmother and being raised by a widowed mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville describes his paternal family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville shares his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about encountering President Herbert Hoover

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville talks about the talented alumni of Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville describes his family life as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about growing up in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville talks about celebrating holidays as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Steve Baskerville remembers his family vacations as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Steve Baskerville shares his memories of elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville remembers entering a smile contest

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about encountering gangs while attending Shoemaker Junior High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville describes Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about being a good student and his plans for college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville describes his activities at Overbrook High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville describes attending church as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes his social life at Overbrook High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about his aspiration to be a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville describes the political climate of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville recalls the tumult of the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville describes harassment by the police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about his father's military service in WWII

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about his decision to attend Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville talks about attending Temple University during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes his decision to major in Theater and Communications at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about his first job working on a children's educational radio show

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville talks about his work in children's television programming

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about working on "Evening Magazine" and "AM-PM" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville talks about how he became a weatherman

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville describes his audition for the CBS Morning News

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about African Americans in the Philadelphia broadcasting market in the late 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville talks about meeting celebrities who appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show"

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes being recognized in public and working in large broadcasting markets

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about taking a job at a morning newscast in New York City, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Steve Baskerville recalls being encouraged to take a broadcasting job in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Steve Baskerville contrasts national versus local broadcasts

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville remembers the celebrities who appeared on the CBS Morning Show

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about his decision to take a job as weatherman for WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville talks about his wife and children

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about reporting on Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's death

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville describes working at WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville describes the Chicago broadcasting market

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville talks about the importance of peer acceptance and having an authentic personality in the broadcasting business

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about working with Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Steve Baskerville talks about the major weather stories he covered in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville talks about "The Mike Douglas" show

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about his strategy for dealing with changing management at WBBM

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville talks about hosting "Sunday with Steve Baskerville"

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville describes the non-weather programming that he hosted

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville describes his ideal television program

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville talks about being a people person

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville talks about meeting interesting people

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about winning nine Emmy Awards

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Steve Baskerville talks about earning a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Steve Baskerville talks about global warming

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Steve Baskerville talks about the controversies faced by HistoryMakers Harry Porterfield and Dorothy Tucker as black journalists in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Steve Baskerville talks about HistoryMaker Jim Tilmon

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville describes the wage gap between African American female broadcasters and male broadcasters

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about his heroes

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville shares his career advice

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about his son's career

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about his future plans

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$5

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Steve Baskerville talks about the major weather stories he covered in Chicago, Illinois
Steve Baskerville talks about how he became a weatherman
Transcript
Now, tell me a little bit about, you're doing the weather, what is the technology in terms of weather reporting at this time?$$Well, it's very--(simultaneous)--$$I mean your first year (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$I mean we've got all sorts of real help. You know, when I first started we were putting magnets on the board and clouds of suns and everything was pretty much broad, you know, like a broad area of rain will be here and then broad area moves here. And now things are so localized and the computer has done everything to make it so different, you know. You, you're not--and the speed of--the speed and the accuracy of the projections that you make, those are--I can look at, I can go to work now and look at a 48-hour computer model and what this particular model is saying the next two days are gonna be like. And it'd almost be on the money in terms of the hour that--it'll show me that Tuesday night at 11:00, this area is gonna move right into Northeastern Illinois, and more often than not, the next 24 hours, you can be in the 90's percent for accurate. I mean it's--the guesswork is practically gone. They're so sophisticated now.$$What was your biggest weather story the first year you were in Chicago [Illinois]?$$Well, I, and maybe it wasn't the first year, but I was the first reporter on the scene with the Plainfield [Illinois] tornadoes. I happened to have been in Oak Lawn [Illinois] doing something else, doing a story--it was a very, very hot day. And we were talking about people who have strange jobs on hot days, and these were guys that worked in refrigerators all day with coats on, like meat lockers, trying to protect the meat or whatever, and it was like a hundred degrees outside. And then I got word something happened in, around Joliet. Can you get there? And we got in the car, and we went out to a field, and it was commotion , and I, you know, 10 or 11 people out talking to each other in a frantic way. What happened? Tornado, and it went that way. And the person pointed, and when he pointed, it was almost textbook. Tornadoes tend to move on diagonal lines. And it was from like North--it was moving from like Northwest to--Southwest to Northeast, Southwest to Northeast. And we just followed the destruction. It started getting worse and worse. We saw some trees down, and we followed the line and then saw some rooftops gone, saw buildings just leveled. So it was those Plainfield tornadoes and the toughest part of it was what the National Guard had to do that night, and they were, not afraid, but they were troubled. One of 'em said to me, you know, I gotta go out there now in that field and look around, and I don't know what I'm gonna find there. But it was the aftermath of that tornado that was probably the biggest--I've gone to two tornado scenes, not during the midst of the tornado, but here and in Utica [Illinois], there was some big tornadoes, more recent than Plainfield. But those were the big--and I've had a couple all night, gotta stay, be in the station, blizzard episodes. I'd much rather have a blizzard than the severe weather. Severe is quicker, happens and ends quicker, but much more frightening because of the possibility.$$You know, that Plainfield tornado, do you remember what year that was?$$Nineteen ninety [1990], I believe.$$There were a lot of casualties--(simultaneous)--$$Yes.$$Over a hundred people?$$Yes, 'cause it wasn't just Plainfield. It was Crest Hill [Illinois] and maybe parts of Joliet [Illinois]. But I'm, but it was, it was pretty devastating.$Eventually, the boss running, the GM [General Manager] running that station comes down to me and he says, you know, I wish there was a way to get you involved in more of the day. This is working so well. Weather. And I said, what? The weather. Why didn't I think of it earlier? You'd make a great weatherman. I said--$$What was your initial thought when he said that?$$You've got to be kidding. I mean I had never thought of it. Maury [Povich] was an anchor of the 5:00 o'clock newscast, and he liked the relationship we had. And he thought that I could blend into a newscast easily from what he saw earlier. The Dean of Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] was an old-time weather broadcaster, now Dean of Science at Drexel. He says, you know, I like that guy. Why don't you pay me to teach him. I'll teach him the weather. So the station sends me off to Francis Davis, Dr. Francis Davis, and several times a week, one-on-one, special course, special arrangement, I learned the weather like sitting there with notes and pad, pen, teaching me personally, meteorology. Now--$$What did this education involve? I mean how do you teach a weatherman (laughter)?$$Well, I mean it wasn't, it was an informal arrangement for sure. But the goal was, see, there's a--we can't as TV meteorologists ever do as much as the weather service is doing. I mean there are people on staff 24 hours a day, breaking up the day. I mean there's broadcast meteorology and then there's meteorology. I eventually went on and took courses, coursework at Mississippi State [University] where you get credentialed to have a seal 'cause are tests that you have to take and, but in those days, it was very loose. I mean the entry into the world of weather was pretty loose, and there were--I got, one of the most popular weathermen in Philadelphia at the time was a D.J. who made the transition from being a D.J., straight into doing television weather, enormously popular. I mean untouchable, popular for most of the years that I was in Philadelphia. So, so the, the thing about, half of--even to this day, I mean now we can go on the air with credentials and study from the day, from whatever the weather of the day is, but the map isn't the star of that segment. You are. So it's as much personality driven as it is information, especially in this day and age because people have so--we are fighting all sorts of sources for--by the time I'm seen on the air, people have, if they wanted, gotten the information, six ways from Sunday, from their phone, from their iPad, from all sorts of alerts and descriptions of the weather. And, you know, and, but the same for news as well. I think news is changing that way too, but we're really getting off on a tangent, so much so that I'm not sure where--but that was my entrance into steady television work.$$Now, you didn't have like radar weather or did you?$$Yeah, well, the thing that was most special about this arrangement with the Francis Davis who was this instructor of mine, he monitored me every day. I mean I was, it was like riding a bike, you took the training wheels off, and sent me off, and I'm wobbling. And I go on the air with all of the basics. I knew what fronts and highs and lows were and what they did and where they came from. I mean I could put a forecast together. I had to also master the phrasing, and I had to also make sense. And he'd call me after a show. That was great what you just said, that was exactly what's gonna happen or he'd call and say, that was crazy. Where'd you get that? Or that's the most ridiculous thing I ever--and it was wonderful to have someone in your corner like that. So I did, and I thought if I'm lucky, I'll keep this job for the rest of the month.$$What year was this?$$Nineteen seventy, like seven [1977] or so, 1978.

Sylvia Ewing

Non-profit education executive, television personality and radio producer Sylvia Michelle Ewing was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on March 21, 1957 to Linwood Anthony Dennard a gospel music producer, and Louise Miller, a homemaker. She was raised by Louise Miller and her step father Milton Miller. She graduated from Technical Memorial Vocational High School in 1975.

Ewing came to Chicago, Illinois in 1977 and co-founded City Life, a free magazine for African Americans. During the 80s, she was active in the Anti-apartheid movement in Chicago and worked for the Mozambique Support Network In 1991, she became host of the "On-Target" radio series on Chicago's WVON-AM. Since 1994, Ewing has worked as an on-air host for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Chicago affiliate WTTW's pledge drive segments, and has done voice-overs for the station's programs and special projects. In 1999, she became a producer for WTTW's television program Chicago Tonight and served as producer for the Chicago Public Radio's WBEZ program Eight Forty-Eight from 2004 to 2006 and director of cultural relations of Steppenwolf Theater Company's Traffic Series for the 2007 - 2008 season. In 2008, she served as the Deputy Director and in 2010, became the Director of External Affairs for the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. Ewing also teaches media literacy and journalism classes as an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago and has written for Chicago Parent Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times and N'DIGO Magazine.

Ewing has received the Award of Excellence from the Chicago Association of Black Journalists, the Peter Lisagor Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Public News Directors, Inc. Award and has been nominated for three local Emmys. She has served on the board of directors for several organizations including the Association of Women Journalists, the Illinois College Access Network, and the Chicago Committee for Urban Opportunity and the Community Justice for Youth Institute. Ewing was the president of the Young Chicago Authors Board of Directors home of the Louder than a Bomb youth poetry festival and the co-creator of the concept for the Right to Succeed education organization. She is a certified meditation teacher and has practiced yoga since she was nineteen. Ewing lives in Chicago, Illinois and has two adult children Eve and Matthew.

Sylvia Ewing was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.013

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/19/2012

Last Name

Ewing

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Central High School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Sylvia

Birth City, State, Country

Erie, Pennsylvania

HM ID

EWI03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Media, Education, and Meditation

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rio Caliente, Mexico

Favorite Quote

Just be happy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/21/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Television personality and radio producer Sylvia Ewing (1957 - ) An award-winning journalist, non-profit executive and teacher, Sylvia Ewing (1957 - ) has been a producer for Chicago Public Media and host of WTTW pledge drives.

Employment

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Chicago Public Television Network

Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ

Columbia College

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:13448,181:29590,365:33010,404:33550,411:70931,937:71346,943:115825,1461:118630,1495:139162,1704:142430,1744:177939,2149:204780,2442$0,0:28100,335:62908,782:70840,864:71290,874:74965,938:79690,1018:80065,1024:102088,1239:104089,1267:108874,1315:109396,1322:112528,1358:128370,1490:132924,1586:137340,1631:147502,1799:163658,1900:179888,2097:305040,3714
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sylvia Ewing's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sylvia Ewing lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sylvia Ewing describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her mother's life in Erie, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sylvia Ewing describes meeting her biological father for the first time, and his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her father's family and his career as a record producer

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her stepfather, Milton Miller, and his influence on her life

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sylvia Ewing talks about how her mother and stepfather met, their courtship, and their getting married

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her likeness to her parents, her stepfather, and their influence on her life

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sylvia Ewing describes the neighborhood where she grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sylvia Ewing describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sylvia Ewing describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sylvia Ewing talks about attending elementary school in Erie, Pennsylvania, and her relationship with her younger sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sylvia Ewing talks about starting school in Erie, Pennsylvania, and her relationship with her younger sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sylvia Ewing describes her experience in middle school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sylvia Ewing talks about the City of Erie, Pennsylvania, and her mother's choosing her high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sylvia Ewing describes her experience in high school and her interest in art, production and marketing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her high school classes and extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sylvia Ewing talks about graduating from a vocational high school in 1975, and her interest in commercial art

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her interest in television and the news while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sylvia Ewing recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination and learning about Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sylvia Ewing talks about spending a year in Florida after graduating from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sylvia Ewing shares her views on religion and spirituality

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sylvia Ewing describes her decision to move to Chicago, Illinois, in the late 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sylvia Ewing describes her early life in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sylvia Ewing talks about working at City Life Magazine and the Chicago Fashion Associates, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sylvia Ewing talks about working at City Life Magazine and the Chicago Fashion Associates, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her involvement in the anti-Apartheid movement and the Mozambique Support Network

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her involvement in the Mozambique Support Network, and freelancing after the birth of her daughter

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her former husband and his work

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her experience organizing a conference on Namibia in the 1980s in Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sylvia Ewing talks about Oprah Winfrey's early days in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sylvia Ewing describes her experience at WVON Radio in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sylvia Ewing describes her experience at WVON Radio in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sylvia Ewing describes her experience at Channel 11, WTTW Radio in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sylvia Ewing describes her experience at Channel 11, WTTW in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her experience on 'Chicago Tonight' on WTTW

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her career between 1994 and 2000

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sylvia Ewing talks about Barack Obama being featured on WTTW's 'Chicago Tonight' in 2000

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her work at WBEZ Radio and at WTTW Channel 11

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her decision to transition from a career in media to one in education

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sylvia Ewing talks about the Peter Lisagor Award for Broadcast Journalism and the Edward R. Murrow Award

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her work at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her work at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her work at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sylvia Ewing reflects upon the importance of cultural theatre in the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sylvia Ewing talks about leaving the staff of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools in 2007 to work at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and returning in 2008

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sylvia Ewing talks about the importance of charter schools, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sylvia Ewing talks about the importance of charter schools, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her mentor and journalist John Callaway

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sylvia Ewing talks about the role of meditation in her life

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

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sylvia Ewing reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sylvia Ewing talks about what she would have done differently in her career

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sylvia Ewing provides advice to young journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sylvia Ewing talks about her interest in teaching

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sylvia Ewing talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sylvia Ewing describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$8

DATitle
Sylvia Ewing talks about starting school in Erie, Pennsylvania, and her relationship with her younger sisters
Sylvia Ewing talks about working at City Life Magazine and the Chicago Fashion Associates, pt. 2
Transcript
Now did you manifest as a young person all the varied interests you have as an adult; dancing, acting, all those different things?$$I think I found my creative voice very early. I always had a strong imagination and one of the--a strong imagination, a strong sort of intuition. And, and part of my early childhood memories are--they--it worried them a little bit that I was both intuitive and you know always thinking out of the box. And I can remember someone telling my grandma [maternal; Rosa Anne Thomas], you should have that child sleep with the Bible under her bed cause she's just out there. And I think they actually for a while you know put a Bible under the mattress. I was just creative and you know a different thinker. And I also talked a lot. I spent time with grown-ups and I talked and talked and talked, talked and talked. And my mom [Louise Miller] would say I will give you a dollar if you can be quiet and I never could. And you know the same with my daughter [Eve Ewing] later on. But it's funny because then I grew up to make a living, particularly doing the you know non-scripted pledge drives where just talking is on the air and on live television is what you know helps pay the bills and what I enjoy. I always drew and had some relatives that took interest in me and, and again having those older cousins I often would take their school books. And so I had anatomy books and books to help me teach myself how to draw and teach me how to do poetry. And I would line up all of my dolls and perform and preach because you know the preacher is our first performer right, the preacher and the teacher. And so I would entertain myself that way and entertain my little cousins and my neighbors with shows and always loved to kind of design the production and be in charge and say, now this is what we're going to do whether or not others agreed with me. And I will say that one of my earliest performance play memories was with my cousins Pat and Alma Jean and we were The Supremes. And I was mad because I never got to be Diana Ross cause then some other cousin was in there too but I always had to be a back up singer and I wanted to be Diana Ross. And so then to grow up and to meet the young men from Human Nature who were--who Smokey Robinson [William Smokey Robinson, Jr.] is mentoring as they sing Motown songs and to do their "Stop in the Name of Love" and to get to do it myself was a lot of fun.$Now what was that about? Let's--we just can't drop it. We have to tell what it was about so--$$Oh. This was when people were protesting spending all of the dollars on these festivals downtown and also not having as many you know contractors and others from communities of color of the--from the black community have access to those resources. And I think Reverend [Jesse] Jackson initiated the boycott and you know it was fascinating for me because one of my draws, one of the things that drew me to Chicago [Illinois] was all of these events where we'd all get together in Grant Park. And I saw Alberta Hunter, Albertina Walker and Alberta Hunter, the blues singer, just all these people for free in the park with thousands of others, and I loved that. But I also understood that you know that the way that the Taste of Chicago or Chicago Fest was done did close the door you know to vendors that weren't connected and things like that. Or at least that's what I saw from my far remove. So I covered that but quite frankly, we were a fashion magazine. We were a lifestyle magazine. We were subliminally subversive with our message and we weren't that good. The things that I know now about just proofing and editing and a good quality product, we had far more enthusiasm and energy than we had skill in really getting the job done. But we found that the parties that we threw to both fundraise for the magazine and to kick it off and--where we brought in some of the designers that we featured in the pages and had fashion shows with them and that we took some of the kids from the, I think it was Robert Taylor Homes around Halsted, you know 63rd and Halsted and around Englewood, where we took the kids from the CHA [Chicago Housing Authority] who had tremendous skill and tremendous interest and taught them the discipline of runway modeling, that was our success. So we backed into from City Life Magazine something that we called Chicago Fashion Associates. And in our heyday, we were featured in 'The Defender'. Warner Saunders covered us on Channel 5. A couple of the kids that modeled for us were twins and they got a contract with one of the gum companies to do an ad campaign.$$Doublemint.$$I think it was Doublemint.$$Wrigley, yeah?$$We had some folks go on to one of the height of success of the day which was the Ebony Fashion Fair, so it was really fun and exciting. But we used modeling and fashion as a way to give young people something to do every Saturday and something that would expand their horizons above you know quite often the poverty and you know violence that they encountered in their daily life and in their home community and it was really a fun time. I have to say though that we later had a bit of a split because I found that my interest in working with youth and giving voice to young people was really blossoming and that to me that was really the focus. And that the modeling and the fashion was just a hook to get them in and encourage them to go to college and encourage them to you know have high aspirations and high standards for themselves. And for my partner, he wanted to make some money you know cause it was--we were in his office or in an office above his family's furniture store. And so we kind of split when he started a modeling school and then our paths really diverged. He later went on to an entirely different type of business.$$This is Howard Shenault?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$You know I don't know if I should say it, he had an escort company. I mean he went all the way into a different direction. So he went into a different direction and I kind of went into a different direction of more service and wanting to give voice to young people.

The Honorable Gregory Mathis

Judge Greg Mathis, the youngest elected judge in Michigan’s history, was born on April 5, 1960, in Detroit, Michigan. Raised by his mother, Mathis’s troubled upbringing and membership in the Errol Flynns gang is documented in his 2002 autobiography Inner City Miracle. After attending Herman Gardens Elementary School, Peterson Seventh Day Adventist School, and Wayne Memorial High School, Mathis earned his GED through Operation PUSH while on juvenile probation in 1977. Mathis received his B.S. degree in public administration from Eastern Michigan University in 1982 and his J.D. degree from the University of Detroit Law School in 1987. Mathis led the Free South Africa and voter registration campaigns at Eastern Michigan University.

In 1983 Mathis joined the staff of Detroit City Councilman Clyde Cleveland, volunteered for Operation Push, and worked on Reverend Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in 1984. In 1986, Mathis, his wife Linda, and some friends formed Young Adults Asserting Themselves (YAAT) and four preschools in Detroit. Chosen to head Reverend Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign in Michigan, Mathis later worked as the manager of Detroit’s Neighborhood City Halls for the late Mayor Coleman A. Young. In 1995, Mathis was elected to Michigan’s 36 District Court, and in 1998 Warner Brothers Television launched the Judge Mathis Show.

Featured prominently in both the print and electronic media, Mathis has been the recipient of many awards and honors. A chairman of Rainbow/PUSH-Excel board, a lifetime member of the NAACP, and a member the Southern Christian Leadership Conference board, Mathis and his wife and college sweetheart, Linda, have raised four children.

Accession Number

A2005.055

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/25/2005 |and| 12/15/2006

Last Name

Mathis

Maker Category
Schools

Peterson Seventh Day Adventist School

Herman Gardens Elementary School

Peterson-Warren Seventh Day Adventist School

Wayne Memorial High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Gregory

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

MAT03

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Mark D. Goodman

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Believe In God And Believe In Yourself, And You Can Overcome Any Obstacle.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

4/5/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Collard)

Short Description

Federal district court judge and television personality The Honorable Gregory Mathis (1960 - ) was the youngest elected judge in Michigan’s history, and the host of the Warner Brothers Television program, the Judge Mathis Show.

Employment

State of Michigan

Warner Brothers

Jackson Campaign

Detroit Neighborhood City Hall

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:5500,154:9468,177:11244,202:11762,210:12650,227:13686,242:17312,307:18792,343:19088,348:19384,359:20346,383:21382,482:30838,557:33872,622:34612,633:35722,655:38608,698:40606,744:41198,753:41864,763:42382,771:54166,954:54980,965:55276,970:58870,1055:59630,1074:60238,1081:65710,1179:66394,1189:68750,1226:69282,1235:70574,1261:75504,1294:76120,1307:77088,1324:77440,1329:81285,1377:87814,1452:88870,1464:90542,1507:91686,1523:98228,1639:99444,1673:99900,1681:104080,1755:104612,1764:109250,1781:111574,1814:112072,1821:112487,1827:117522,1892:122988,1956:125400,1971:133046,2017:137754,2063:138937,2078:139483,2085:142230,2093:143652,2128:145627,2159:148550,2309:161986,2490:163462,2528:175110,2715:180895,2844:181490,2853:181915,2859:183275,2880:185485,2893:185825,2898:189905,2966:200188,3081:201484,3100:201916,3107:215992,3347:216448,3356:217360,3373:218728,3411:233150,3590:235499,3659:235985,3667:240683,3762:244490,3802:260534,4005:261052,4043:261496,4050:262532,4065:263346,4079:264456,4091:264900,4098:269370,4134:269980,4146:270590,4157:271932,4191:272298,4199:273213,4220:276638,4240:277206,4249:277561,4255:282160,4299:290576,4439:291598,4459:292912,4486:294730,4493$0,0:249,6:1826,25:5810,135:11703,261:13114,279:13612,287:13944,292:14525,301:26040,413:26600,422:27480,435:27800,440:28680,452:29320,464:34360,569:35000,579:39862,617:40534,625:42550,654:56989,877:58411,901:62519,1011:71367,1103:71691,1108:77442,1213:78333,1231:83510,1250:85575,1286:95580,1381:101076,1465:109944,1537:112464,1583:113220,1593:113976,1604:114564,1612:114900,1617:115824,1630:117252,1648:120560,1659:120868,1664:121176,1669:121715,1677:123655,1695:125647,1722:127722,1761:128220,1769:128635,1791:135067,1882:135613,1889:140370,1919:143310,1940:143586,1945:147036,2006:147312,2014:147588,2019:148209,2042:148554,2048:152073,2131:152763,2146:153522,2159:153936,2185:162234,2293:162522,2298:163386,2376:172572,2396:174054,2420:175224,2456:175536,2461:180745,2480:184316,2505:184612,2510:185426,2522:186980,2550:192752,2668:193344,2678:205538,2782:208394,2826:211670,2881:212678,2896:217200,2944:221110,3015:221620,3023:222045,3029:223915,3065:225955,3110:226380,3119:227230,3132:237470,3222
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Gregory Mathis' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his maternal grandfather, Walter Lee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his family's connection to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his mother, Alice Lee Mathis

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his father, Charles Mathis

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his upbringing as a Seventh-day Adventist

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his childhood neighborhood of Prairie Street in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis talks about the music of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers the racial environment of his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis recalls a typical day at his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes himself as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis recalls getting in trouble in school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis recalls the deteriorating conditions in the Herman Gardens Housing Projects in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers the negative relationship between police and the community

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers the time his mother was attacked

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Gregory Mathis' interview, session 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers his life as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers an incident between his mother and his teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis recalls his critical foundation in church and school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes himself as a young student

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis recalls his lowest point as a young man

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes the gang he joined as a young man

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers first encountering the Errol Flynns gang

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers his descent into crime and gang activity

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers the judge who spared him from jail time

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis talks about being admitted to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes returning to crime after his mother died

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis tells how he met his wife, Linda Mathis

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers deciding to become a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis recalls his campus activism at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis details his aspirations as a senior in college

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis speaks about his life after graduating from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers working for HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers working for Detroit City Councilman Clyde Cleveland

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis reflects on the political and economic history of Detroit, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis reflects on the political and economic history of Detroit, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis explains how he obtained his law license

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers working for Mayor Coleman Young

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes the youth agency he started

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes what motivated him to run for court judge

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis reflects on his experience as a district court judge in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers fulfilling moments from his work in the community and the courts

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis speaks about mental illness in the criminal justice system

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes the flaws in the criminal justice system, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes the flaws in the criminal justice system, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis explains how he became a television star

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers telling HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson about his TV show offer

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis explains the legal details of the 'Judge Mathis' show

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis recalls a memorable case on his TV show

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis reflects on the value of judge shows on television

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis speaks about staying connected to his community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - The Honorable Gregory Mathis describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$7

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
The Honorable Gregory Mathis remembers deciding to become a lawyer
The Honorable Gregory Mathis recalls a memorable case on his TV show
Transcript
What were you majoring in, in college [Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan]?$$I started out, doing what everybody else said I should do, and that is engineering or business administration, because that's where the jobs were. My first semester, engineering. I was reading up on it and hearing about the classes. I don't think I like that. So, next semester, business administration.$$You must have been a good math student.$$No, not at all. That was the (laughter) that was the problem. When they started hitting me--those were my weakest courses. And, when they started hitting me with them, I quickly determined that I wouldn't be in business nor engineering. The fact is, my first year, perhaps year-and-a-half, I was on academic probation because those courses were killing me. I had never went past algebra, in high school, and went to the tenth grade. Never had a chemistry course. Don't even remember whether I had a biology course, in high school [Cody High School, Detroit, Michigan]. So, when they started hitting me with that; I was on the ropes, averaging Ds in all my math and science courses. The only thing that saved me were the: English, political science; social studies, my favorite subject; psychology, those type of courses. I did very well in, in college, the first two years. That kept me in. And, so, I decided I couldn't be in business nor could I be an engineer where everybody's saying the money and jobs fields they were going to be going to be the most successful in. Well, I went to the library, and I tell young people this all the time. I actually went to the library and got this career handbook. I said I'm gonna look up something else. And the career handbook had a test that you could take to tell you what you're most skilled at and what careers your skills would allow you to be most successful in. So, I took this battery, or this test, and, it gave me a list of things I'll be great at; a social worker, school teacher, lawyer, psychologist. So, of course, I said well, I thought long about the sociologist or social worker, because you know, once again I was attracted to wanting to change conditions of my community and attracted to being involved in the outside world somehow (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So, were you able to then--at that age--make a connection between--I mean it's one thing to hear you now, as [HistoryMaker] Judge [Gregory] Mathis, talk about the social conditions creating, you know, mayhem in people and that sort of thing, but at that age, had you begin, had you begun to put it together?$$Yeah, because one: I used to read some of those Black Panther [Black Panther Party] papers that my brother used to bring home. Read 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' [Malcolm X and Alex Haley], which was very eye-opening. [HistoryMaker] Reverend [Jesse L.] Jackson, Jesse Jackson, had come to speak to the jail facility I was in and spoke to us jailers while we were there, and, that kind of motivated me to want to get into the movement. And, so all those things kind of converged when I took that test. I said social work, I can kind of help solve some of the problems in my community. Then, I said, but I remember Malcolm [X] always wanted to be a lawyer, but by then I was feeling like, you know, that he was one of my role-models then. Malcolm went to jail, he came out, and he became somebody. And, he was able to make a difference in his community. That's what I want to do. I want to do what Malcolm did. Not that I thought I was anything like him. I certainly have never been that--had that strength of character, but he was a great role-model; and so, I recall, that he told the teacher he wanted to be a lawyer and the teacher told him he could never be a lawyer. So he said--$$He said more than that, I think, in the autobiography.$$Yeah, you're right. So, I wanted to be a lawyer; and, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. And, this is the best way to achieve justice and social change. So, from that point on, I switched my major to public administration which was the business of public policy meaning running non-profits, working for government agencies. And the reason I chose that is because I had enough business courses to transfer those over to a new major. And, so, I took those business courses I had taken enroute to a business administration degree, transferred over to a public administration degree and majored in that, in undergrad, with a desire to go to law school.$Well, what have been--so many of these shows, every week there's something that's interesting. What's been--is there one or two cases that are more--$$Yeah, believe it or not, it wouldn't be some of the more outrageous stuff that you see [on 'Judge Mathis']. Folks often think that is what would be most impressionable to me, and it's not it is really matters of the heart that stand out with me the most. For example, probably the most outstanding case, in my mind, was the young man who was suing his parents. He was in his third year of college--I think maybe a senior in college, and he was suing his parents because they had a light bill in his name and they had failed to pay the light bill. So, it's like: "I'm suing them. They didn't pay this light bill and it's about to ruin my credit." Hundred dollars or whatever it was. And he was in the right. He had the right to sue and he was about to win his judgment and I asked the parents there's nothing I can do, but: "Why didn't you all pay this bill? Why did you have to put it in his name?" "Well, Your Honor, we had to put it in his name because our credit is ruined." "Why didn't you pay?" "We can't afford it. Your Honor, we in bad shape, financially, it's because all of his life, from K [kindergarten] through twelve, we sent him to a private school, paid for that. And, we've paid for all his college. That's why we can't pay this light bill. That's why we have bad credit." So, it was just amazing to me, that a young man would sue his parents for being in financial straits--when the reason they're in financial straits is because they provided him with a privileged education, that will forever allow him to be a successful, productive and prosperous citizen. So, those are the type of cases that touch me.$$That sounds like a primer on how not to spoil a child or something--$$Absolutely. And, it sounds like a issue of character, an issue of character. That stands out the most, that case, in particular. It must have four or five years ago, but that it still stands out. Perhaps because I didn't have any parents to support, me, and perhaps because of the sacrifice my mother [Alice Lee Mathis] made sending me to church-school spending more on my church-school tuition than she did on our rent. Maybe that weighs in, as well.$$You said there was another one? Was there another one?$$Well, there were so many that resemble this scenario I'm going to give you, and that being a child or a parent suing a child for some destructive activity that the child may have caused the parent--maybe something in the household the child did or the child is a wayward child. And, then it comes out that the parent was drug-addicted all of the child's formative years. And it's like: "Don't you see the connection? You were negligent and perhaps abusive toward the child during your fifteen-year drug addiction, and then you are shocked that the child is living a destructive life. You were negligent in raising the child; you caused some of these problems; you lived in poverty; you were negligent toward raising the child; you left the child in the crime and drug-infested household while you were off doing your thing and now you wonder?"

Harry Porterfield

Harry William Porterfield was born on August 29, 1928 in Saginaw, Michigan to Viola and Harry, Sr. After moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1964, he has gone on to become one of Chicago's best-loved media personalities, known for his series, Someone You Should Know.

Porterfield graduated from Saginaw's Arthur Hill High School in 1946 and then received an A.S. from Bay City Junior College in Bay City, Michigan. Although he enrolled in the University of Michigan, his studies were interrupted after just one year. In 1951, Porterfield was drafted by the Army. He served less than two years in Germany and attained the rank of Sergeant. In 1954, he earned a B.S. in chemistry from Eastern Michigan University at Ypsilanti.

Porterfield began his broadcasting career in 1955 when he joined Saginaw's radio station WKNX as a jazz disc jockey. He worked as a continuity editor, as well as a cameraman and stagehand at WKNX-TV. In 1964, Porterfield became a news writer at Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM-TV Channel 2. Eventually, he co-anchored the WBBM-TV news and created the Emmy Award-winning shows Channel Two: The People and Two on Two. Someone You Should Know, his most popular series, aired in 1977 for the first time.

In 1985, Porterfield left WBBM and became a reporter for WLS-TV Channel 7, an ABC affiliate station in Chicago. He continues to produce the profile series Someone You Should Know. Porterfield has won numerous awards over the course of his television career, including 10 Emmy Awards, the Columbia DuPont Journalism Award, the Studs Terkel Award and the Operation PUSH Media Fairness Award. He is a member of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and plays violin in the Chicago Bar Association Orchestra-he earned a J.D. in 1993 from DePaul University School of Law. He and his wife, Marianita, have four children.

Accession Number

A2002.090

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/21/2002

Last Name

Porterfield

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Arthur Hill High School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Harry

Birth City, State, Country

Saginaw

HM ID

POR01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Depends on audience

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida, Idlewild, Michigan

Favorite Quote

The Only Place Success Comes Before Work Is In The Dictionary.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Birth Date

8/29/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Gary

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbeque

Short Description

Television personality Harry Porterfield (1928 - ) created the television series, Someone You Should Know.

Employment

WKNX Radio

WKYC TV

WBBM TV

WLS TV

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harry Porterfield's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harry Porterfield lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harry Porterfield talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harry Porterfield talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harry Porterfield describes his family's light complexion and their ability to "pass" for white

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harry Porterfield describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harry Porterfield describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harry Porterfield describes his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harry Porterfield describes the sights, smells, and sounds of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Harry Porterfield describes growing up in his mostly white neighborhood of Saginaw, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Harry Porterfield describes himself as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harry Porterfield talks about his experiences attending Fuerbringer Elementary School in Saginaw, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harry Porterfield describes his feeling of inferiority going to elementary school with white children

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harry Porterfield talks about his interest in music growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harry Porterfield describes the radio programs he and his father listened to in his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harry Porterfield describes himself as a student in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harry Porterfield talks about attending Bay City Junior College and the University of Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harry Porterfield describes being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harry Porterfield talks about serving in Germany in the U.S. Army in 1951

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Harry Porterfield talks about enrolling at Eastern Michigan University after being discharged from the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harry Porterfield talks about visiting Idlewild, Michigan, after graduating from Eastern Michigan University in 1954

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harry Porterfield talks about entering the broadcasting field, becoming a DJ at WKNX, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harry Porterfield describes supporting himself with multiple jobs before entering T.V. broadcasting

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harry Porterfield talks about selling and writing music for commercials

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harry Porterfield talks about becoming a news writer for the CBS affiliate WBBM-TV Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois in 1964

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harry Porterfield talks about being one of the only African Americans in broadcast news in 1964 in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harry Porterfield describes helping to produce the ten o'clock news at WBBM-TV Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Harry Porterfield talks about producing news for WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Harry Porterfield talks about the process of becoming a news anchor in 1972

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Harry Porterfield describes learning the process of news writing and reporting while working as a broadcaster in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harry Porterfield describes his treatment as one of the few black men working at CBS-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harry Porterfield talks about anchoring a weekend news program and reporting for WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harry Porterfield describes an early news story he produced on 'Someone You Should Know,' in 1977

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harry Porterfield talks about how 'Someone You Should Know' has changed since 1977

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harry Porterfield describes memorable stories he produced on 'Someone You Should Know'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harry Porterfield describes being inspired by the stories he produced at 'Someone You Should Know'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harry Porterfield talks about co-anchoring the evening news on CBS in Chicago in 1979 with Bill Kurtis

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harry Porterfield describes co-hosting CBS evening news with Don Craig and Bill Kurtis

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Harry Porterfield describes being demoted from his role as news anchor to accommodate Bill Kurtis' returned from New York in 1985

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harry Porterfield describes being demoted from his anchor position at the CBS affiliate WBBM-TV Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois when Bill Kurtis returned in 1985

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harry Porterfield talks about the reaction from the black community to his demotion

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harry Porterfield talks about moving to ABC Channel 7 in 1985

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harry Porterfield describes the boycott and outrage in the black community subsequent to his firing at CBS Channel 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harry Porterfield talks about transitioning to more success at ABC Channel 7 in 1985

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harry Porterfield reflects on the changes made at CBS Channel 2 after his departure

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harry Porterfield talks about attending DePaul University Law School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Harry Porterfield reflects on his career

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Harry Porterfield reflects on the changing nature of journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Harry Porterfield talks about the role of music in his life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harry Porterfield describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Harry Porterfield describes what makes Chicago, Illinois unique

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Harry Porterfield talks about his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Harry Porterfield reflects on the work of The HistoryMakers

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Harry Porterfield narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Harry Porterfield talks about entering the broadcasting field, becoming a DJ at WKNX, Michigan
Harry Porterfield talks about the process of becoming a news anchor in 1972
Transcript
Now how did you go and--well how did you go to WKNX [Now, WHHQ, Michigan]? How did that come about that doesn't--see you and Larry were hanging out--(simultaneous)?$$We're hanging out right. Well I had a friend who was on the police force at the time and he came to me one day and he said, "You know there's a radio station downtown looking for a part time disc jockey for two weeks and they need somebody who can fill in for two weeks and I thought of you, would you be interested?" I said, "Well, yeah I've never been at a radio station before; I don't know anything about broadcasting." He said, "Why don't you go down and talk to the guy." So I went to the radio station, WKNX and talked to the general manager, Howard Wolf and he hired me and he said you know there have been fourteen candidates who have come in here looking to fill this two week spot that we have, you're the only one I can understand who didn't have an accent. So I started on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1955, I think. Went on the air with the show, I remember Nat "King" Cole was one of the records I played. Nat "King" Cole thing and a couple of other things and that went on for a couple of weeks and I figured it would be over and then they came to me and said you know the guy who was supposed to take this job is not going to be able to do it. As it turned out the guy who had worked with the station and had convinced them that there should be some black programming on the station had wrote some bad checks. But he had been writing bad checks before he went to jail, he'd come out of jail, he wrote bad checks so he went back to jail, that was the end of it. So they asked me to stay. So I did this show every day, it was a half hour show called 'Sounds from the Lounge' and the name came from Eastern Michigan University. Because I remember above the entrance to the music school at Eastern Michigan and Ypsilanti [Michigan] was sounds from the lounge pertaining to the lounge where everybody practiced--rehearsed. So that's what I called my show and that show went on, I guess it lasted for nine years--doing that show. It was a jazz show; it was the only jazz show in the northern part of Michigan outside Detroit. I used to get--jazz promoters used to just pile up the records for me. I had my choice of what I wanted to play and it came--it was I guess a well listened to show. It was a lot of fun and I think during that period I began to change my mind about the direction I wanted to take. Chemistry was going further and further from my mind and this whole business about medicine. I could see that it was kind of fun to sit there at the radio behind a microphone and just dream up stuff and play records and create your own little environment there.$How did you move from producer, what was the move after that? How did you move into being an anchor, is that what happened?$$I became an anchor in about 1968/'69 [1969]. I used to anchor a weekend-the weekend-it was a Saturday at noon at a time that nobody was watching television and I used to do that. I became a full time anchor in 1972 but ahead of that the management gave us an opportunity, those of us who were writers to make a little extra money as reporters. And we would be freelance reporters and they sent us in the street and we'd do interviews-interviews primarily and if your face and voice got on the air, fifteen bucks, if your voice just got on the air then it's ten bucks. And those of us who were writers had the opportunity to make this extra money. I mean that's great, you do two or three stories a week; you would get sixty bucks, seventy dollars extra in your paycheck. So I started doing that and then I found myself doing more of it; going more in depth in stories and during that period television news was making a transition becoming far more sophisticated than it had been for a real long time. When I started a television reporter did nothing but interviews, he'd go out and interview somebody and he'd send back the film and you cut it and you put it on the air and there's an interview. But about the middle '60s [1960s] we began to get to the point that a reporter was beginning to do a complete story, one we call a package. You do the interview; you write some narration for the voice-overs, you know that kind of thing was beginning to happen. So I was beginning to do that and one of the reasons I was able to fall in to that situation as a reporter to go out and do a complete story with the voice over, narration and so forth was because I had been writing all these stories for these other guys for so long, been writing all these stories for the anchormen. So that wasn't difficult. As it turned out, I did less and less writing and more and more reporting. One a general manager came to me-no it was a news director who came to me and said I'm going to make you the weekend anchor, I'm just going to make you a weekend anchor, I said okay. So I began anchoring on Saturday and Sunday and-with some success. I understand the numbers began to go up on the weekends and we went up to number one on the weekends and that was the beginning of the anchor thing. I was not officially a talent or a reporter or an anchor until 1972. This was what--I started in '64 [1964], eight years--after eight years I got my first contract as a talent--as a reporter/anchor. Up until that time I was a rather skilled writer and even being on the air as a reporter, I was still in the writers' guild that was kind of nice to get away from that writing thing. I got tired of that because it kept in the office all the time and I like to get out and see stuff and do stuff, you know.

Merri Dee

Merri Dee was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 30, 1934. Dee was raised in Chicago and New Orleans, Louisiana, where she developed a passion for journalism during school. She began her long relationship with broadcast media in 1966 as a radio personality. Based upon the strength of her reputation, Dee moved to WGN-TV in 1972, where she gained experience in newscasting as a staff announcer and talk show host.

At the height of her very promising career, Dee was confronted with a personal tragedy when she and a talk show guest were kidnapped from the television station and nearly killed by the attackers. Not one to remain a victim, however, Dee looks upon that incident – which changed the course of her career and life – as a challenge to grow. Lobbying state and city politicians, Dee assisted in the passage of Illinois' first Victims Bill of Rights law, legislation that has served as a model for other states.

Following the tragic event, Dee became more involved in the administrative aspect of television production and was appointed director of community relations at WGN-TV. In this capacity, Dee served as liaison between WGN-TV and the many social organizations that compose Chicago's civic community. She received direct feedback from the audience and ensured that the station served the needs of Chicago's diverse populations. Dee also oversaw WGN's public service campaigns. Dee retired as WGN-TV’s director of community relations in the fall of 2008.

Dee is also committed to extensive charitable work, including fundraising on behalf of the homeless and the victims of domestic violence. Her most passionate endeavor, however, is on behalf of Illinois orphans. Dee has garnered an exceptional amount of attention for the issue of orphans through telethons and fundraisers. Through her efforts, she has sought to increase the number of children who get adopted each year. In 1998, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar commended Dee and WGN for increasing the number of adoptions in the state by more than 50 percent. Also a strong advocate for education, Dee has hosted the United Negro College Fund Telethon for several years. She has also hosted the prestigious Easter Seals Telethon. She is one of the founders of a Chicago-based organization called Athletes for a Better Education.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the AT&T Outstanding Community Role Model award, the North American Council on Adoptable Children Outstanding Leadership Award, the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago Woman of the Year Award, and the Chicago Academy of TV Arts and Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award.

Accession Number

A2000.019

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/25/2000

Last Name

Dee

Maker Category
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Merri

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DEE01

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

McCormick Tribune Foundation

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

If it is to be, it is up to me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/30/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice

Short Description

Television personality Merri Dee (1936 - ) started as a staff announcer and talk show host, but then became director of community relations at WGN-TV. Dee has garnered an exceptional amount of attention for the issue of orphans through telethons and fundraisers. In 1998, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar commended Dee and WGN for increasing the number of adoptions in the state by more than 50 percent.

Employment

WGN TV

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Pink

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Merri Dee interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Merri Dee discusses her name

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Merri Dee's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Merri Dee describes her family members

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Merri Dee remembers her early life

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Merri Dee describes returning to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Merri Dee discusses Creole culture in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Merri Dee remembers lessons from her family

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Merri Dee describes the nunnery where she attended school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Merri Dee recalls leaving school at the age of fourteen

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Merri Dee describes life on her own at age fourteen

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Merri Dee remembers her childhood home, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Merri Dee remembers an influential mentor from her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Merri Dee describes life with her stepmother, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Merri Dee describes life with her stepmother, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Merri Dee remembers her high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Merri Dee remembers her grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Merri Dee discusses her Catholic upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Merri Dee describes an early job at a supermarket

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Merri Dee describes an encounter with employment discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Merri Dee describes her experience working at a law firm

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Merri Dee recalls her stepmother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Merri Dee discusses her employment with IBM

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Merri Dee remembers her mother-in-law

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Merri Dee describes her career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Merri Dee details the end of her marriage, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Merri Dee details the end of her marriage, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Merri Dee decides to change her career

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Merri Dee considers the merits of hard work

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Merri Dee discusses her radio broadcast career

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Merri Dee discusses her career in television

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Merri Dee recalls her kidnapping and near murder

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Merri Dee recalls her return to TV after her kidnapping and attempted murder

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Merri Dee discusses her role in asserting victims' rights

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Merri Dee remembers her assailant's release from prison

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Merri Dee details her twenty-eight years at Chicago television station, WGN-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Merri Dee describes her varying roles at Chicago television station, WGN-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Merri Dee recalls the difficult early days at WGN-TV in Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Merri Dee describes the black community's response to her media success

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Merri Dee reveals her faith in her broadcasting skills

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Merri Dee describes mixed feelings in light of her career success

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Merri Dee discusses her career

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Merri Dee describes her position as director of community relations for WGN-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Merri Dee considers the relationship between blacks and the media

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Merri Dee describes her admiration for influential black figures

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Merri Dee shares words of advice

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Merri Dee relates the importance of friendship in her life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Merri Dee describes her loving relationship with her daughter

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Merri Dee touches upon her mother-daughter bond

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Merri Dee discusses her stance on adoption

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Merri Dee hugs her granddaughter, Marissa Monet and daughter, Toya Monet, ca. 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Merri Dee with colleagues from WGN-TV, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Merri Dee with Chicago Police Superindendent, Matt Rodriguez, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Merri Dee with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Merri Dee with the staff of WGN-TV news, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1985

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Merri Dee with WGN-TV co-workers, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Merri Dee with WGN-TV news anchor, Allison Payne, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Merri Dee with the executive director of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Merri Dee with her daughter, Toya Monet

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Merri Dee models in an advertisement for Bloomingdale's department store, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Merri Dee with her daughter, Toya Monet

Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Merri Dee with her granddaughter, Marissa Monet, ca. 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Merri Dee's granddaughter, Marissa Monet, ca. 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - Merri Dee's granddaughter, Marissa Monet, dressed as a flower girl

Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Merri Dee with Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, ca. 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - U.S. Postal memorabilia promoting adoption presented to Merri Dee by The Cradle, Evanston, Illinois, May 11, 2000

Bill Campbell

As host and producer of WLS-7's 'Chicagoing' and Director of Community Services, Bill Campbell has been bridging the gap between media and community his entire adult career. Born on Chicago's historic South Side, on May 25, 1950, Campbell was surrounded by the arts and sciences. His father was a chemist who graduated with honors from the University of Chicago and his mother was a visual artist who attended the School of the Art Institute along with such notables as Gordon Parks. Campbell fondly recalls his childhood, growing up in a building owned and inhabited entirely by his extended family. Upon graduating from Carleton College in Minnesota with a B.A. in Urban Studies, he worked as a Program Specialist in the Office of the Mayor, and later as the Director of Communications for the Chicago Urban League.

In 1978, Campbell was hired as Director of Community Services and soon thereafter began hosting and producing the popular weekly news magazine show, "Chicagoing". For his work, Campbell has been awarded three Chicago Emmy Awards for Outstanding Editorial Achievement.

Aside from his activities at WLS-TV, Campbell sits on several advisory boards, including the Board of Directors for the National Conference For Community and Justice (NCCJ)-Northern Illinois, and the Cultural Affairs Advisory Board for the City of Chicago. Campbell has been recognized numerous times for his contributions to the community, receiving the Chicago Urban League's Beautiful People Award in 1985; the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award from St. Sabina Church in 1984 and Communications Excellence Award from the Cosmopolitan Chamber of Commerce in 1988.

Accession Number

A2001.008

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

5/3/2001

Last Name

Campbell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Frank I. Bennett Elementary School

John M. Harlan Community Academy High School

Carleton College

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Bill

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

CAM02

Favorite Season

October

Speaker Bureau Notes

Has sought to bridge the divide between media and community, through his work at WLS-7.

Has been repeatedly recognized for his efforts in the community.

Notes

Professional: Host/Producer of WLS "Chicagoing", a show about Chicago's cultural past, present and future.

WLS's Director of Community Services since 1978

1975-1978 director of Communication for the Chicago Urban League.

1972 to 1975 Program specialist in the Office of the Mayor

Awards and honors:

1988 Named as a William Benton Fellow in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago, a one-year fellowship for distinguished members of the radio and television broadcast community

1985: Chicago Urban League: Beautiful People Award
1980: Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club/Society of
Professional Journalists
1984: Dr. Martin Luther King JR:. Freedom Award from St. Sabina Church
1988 Communications Excellence Award from the Cosmopolitan Chamber of Commerce.

3 Chicago Emmy Wwards for Outstanding Editorial Achievement (1979, 1980, 1985)

Memberships:

Board of Directors for National Conference For Community and Justice (NCCJ)-Northern Illinois

Cultural Affairs Advisory Board for the City of Chicago

Some Stuff From the Transcript

Sponsor

McCormick Tribune Foundation

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Positive on purpose.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/25/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Television personality Bill Campbell (1950 - ) was the award-winning host and producer of WLS-7's Chicagoing. Born and raised on Chicago's South Side, Campbell has been recognized numerous times for his contributions to the community, and received the Chicago Urban League's Beautiful People Award in 1985.

Employment

City of Chicago

Chicago Urban League

WLS TV

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Photo - Bill Campbell as 11 month old infant

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Photo - Bill Campbell as infant with "first michrophone"

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Photo - Bill Campbell sitting atop a drum

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Drawing by Bill Campbell as a 5 year old

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Photo - Bill Campbell as a five year old in kindergarten

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Photo - Bill Campbell in preschool at Greater St. John Baptist Church

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Photo - Bill Campbell in the fifth grade

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Photo - Bill Campbell in a Bennett Elementary School Christmas play

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Photo - Bill Campbell in the third grade

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Photo - Bill Campbell poses with stuffed puppy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Photo - Bill Campbell plays the sax with college jazz ensemble

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Photo - Bill Campbell with college jazz ensemble

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Photo - Bill Campbell poses with parents and brother Kevin

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Photo - Bill Campbell with brother in 1956

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Photo - Bill Campbell's sisters in 1973

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Photo - Bill Campbell with his five nephews

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Photo - Bill Campbell with nieces and nephews

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Photo - Bill Campbell with nieces and nephews, 1998

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Photo - Bill Campbell with singer Nancy Wilson

Tape: 1 Story: 20 - Photo - Bill Campbell's picture from a soup cookbook

Tape: 1 Story: 21 - Bill Campbell's slating

Tape: 1 Story: 22 - Bill Campbell's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 23 - Bill Campbell talks about his mother and grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 24 - Bill Campbell describes his grandfathers connection with Wilberforce University

Tape: 1 Story: 25 - Bill Campbell details his scientist father's life

Tape: 1 Story: 26 - Bill Campbell discusses his fathers upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 27 - Bill Campbell's paternal grandfather on education

Tape: 1 Story: 28 - Bill Campbell talks about his younger sisters and moving to Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 29 - Bill Campbell shares the story of how his parents first met

Tape: 1 Story: 30 - Bill Campbell shares more stories from his childhood in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bill Campbell talks about his childhood and siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bill Campbell shares some stories from childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bill Campbell continues and shares his philosophy of "positivity on purpose"

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bill Campbell remembers the segregation of Chicago's South Side in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bill Campbell talks about his elementary school and more childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bill Campbell discusses the values he received at home

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bill Campbell recalls how meeting Daddy-O Daylie and Bill Cosby changed his life

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bill Campbell continues with his story of Daddy-O Daylie and Bill Cosby

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bill Campbell runs into Bill Cosby 20 years later and says Daddy-O Daylie is his hero

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bill Campbell on God's will and his lifes choices

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bill Campbell describes how he ended up attending Carleton College

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bill Campbell recounts his college study abroad in the Ivory Coast

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bill Campbell recounts his near-death experience abroad

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bill Campbell talks about how his near death experience helped him deal with the loss of his mother

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bill Campbell on the transition from Chicago to rural Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bill Campbell talks about playing the sax and his musical interests

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bill Campbell continues with stories from his music background

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bill Campbell tells how these collegiate experiences prepared him for his future success

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bill Campbell discusses his transition from college to working for Mayor Richard J. Daley

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bill Campbell talks about an incedent when interning at Illinois Bell

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bill Campbell talks about his experience working for the Mayor's Office

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bill Campbell continues to talk about working for the Chicago Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bill Campbell talks about the fortuitous circumstances which led him to Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bill Campbell reflects on his years on ABC- Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bill Campbell discusses the origins of his talk show- "Chicagoing"

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bill Campbell talks about his ABC-Channel 7 jazz group

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bill Campbell talks about the family environment at WLS-TV/ABC-Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bill Campbell talks more about his talk show "Chicagoing"

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bill Campbell distinguishes his TV format from the typical community affairs program

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bill Campbell discusses avoiding the "public affairs ghetto" on television

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Bill Campbell offers his views on African Americans in broadcast journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Bill Campbell ponders his future in broadcast journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Bill Campbell decides to make the leap from ABC Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Bill Campbell shares his views on spirituality

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Bill Campbell's hopes for the future and reflections on his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Bill Campbell continues to talk about working for the Chicago Urban League
Bill Campbell discusses the origins of his talk show- "Chicagoing"
Transcript
and I applied and I was hired to serve as a program specialist at the Chicago Urban League and they also made me urban communications coordinator and director of communications of P.R., but before I, and that experience was another, as I look back, the progression was just so profound for me because here I was working for an organization like the Chicago Urban League, with its accomplishment or its mission, but I still wanted to be in T.V. or radio. It didn't matter. And I hosted a program on WSBN, or WLUP for the Urban League called "Urban Update" and it was great. I got to interview luminaries in the area including some people that are more infamous and famous including David Duke, who at the time was, you know, the head of the KKK [ Ku Klux Klan]. And I just, I really had this desire to move into broadcasting and was doing everything I could and not focusing as much energy and attention as I should or could have on what was happening in the moment. Well, the most profound thing occurred. I had a dream and in the dream was a message, "Bill, if God wants you to be a broadcaster, you will be. But you are not serving your employer by not focusing on what you were hired to do. You need to do your job." And it was one of those dreams where I woke up 3:00 a.m. in the morning and I got the message and I made a decision that I will not pursue a career in broadcasting. That I will focus my time and attention and energy in doing the best job that I could. Now I wasn't' doing a bad job but my head was in the inimitable words of Horace Grant- formerly of the Chicago Bulls, "My head was else place." You know, I was not focused on what I was doing.$Now how did the talk show come about? Because you hosted and that wasn't there at the beginning was it?$$What happened was I was editorial director from '78 [ 1978] to August of 1988. I was honored and really blessed with the privilege of recieving a William Bennett Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism in the University of Chicago. So, the last editorial was in August of '88 [1988], and then I took nine months and went to the University of Chicago and I had several job offers to do something else, but I decided I wanted to go back to Channel 7, and they no longer were doing editorials. So I was given the opportunity to continue as Director of Community Services. But Joe Ahern, President and General Manager, asked if I would take the spirit and philosophy of the editorials which we always take on location, we weren't just in the studio pontificating them. We were focused on an issue, we went to where the issue occurred and we used the city as a living set to demonstrate what was going on out there. So "Chicagoing" was born. He gave me the opportunity to come up with the idea for the show at 3:00 in the morning, "Chicagoing" pops into my head. And we've been on the air, this June eleventh, it will be twelve years.$$So you came up with the name and everything?$$Yeah. And it's our jazz group that plays the theme song.