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Sam Ford

Television news reporter Sam Ford was born on May 29, 1953 in Coffeyville, Kansas to construction worker Sammie Ford and laundry worker Kathleen Owens. In 1974, Ford graduated with his B.S. degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. While at the university, he began his career in media with a job as a disc jockey at the college and local radio station.

Ford’s career soon made the transition into news journalism, and, in 1974, Ford was hired as a reporter/announcer on both KSJN Radio (a Minnesota Public Radio station) and KMSP-TV (an ABC affiliate television channel). He then studied journalism at the graduate level at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and worked as a reporter at WCCO-TV, where he wrote and produced the first of many African American history TV features of his career. In 1975, Ford was one of the forty-four founding members of the National Association of Black Journalists in Washington, D.C. He spent nine years as a reporter for CBS News, before moving to Washington, D.C. in 1987 to work for ABC News. Ford worked his way up the ranks at ABC News, and was promoted to bureau chief for the NJLA-TV/ABC7 Network.

Ford has produced several television features on African American issues, including Black Slaves, Red Masters (1990), and the Emmy Award-winning African American Connection (1991). In 2003, he traveled to Nigeria to explore his Yoruban ancestry; the resulting TV feature, Journey to Africa, garnered a Broadcast Excellence Award from Columbia University. Ford is active in the Prime Movers Media mentorship program at Ballou High School in Washington, D.C., where his work with aspiring journalism students earned him another Emmy for the news special Field Trip to Ballou (2006).

Ford is married to freelance reporter and media manager Gloria Murry; they have a son, Murry Ford, and a daughter, Gina Ford.

Sam Ford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.328

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/3/2013 |and| 12/5/2013 |and| 3/22/2014

Last Name

Ford

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Eugene

Schools

University of Minnesota

University of Kansas

Independence Sr. High School

Independence Junior High School

Willard-Douglass Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Samuel

Birth City, State, Country

Coffeyville

HM ID

FOR14

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/29/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chops

Short Description

Television news reporter Sam Ford (1953 - ) Television news reporter Sam Ford (1953 - ) is the Bureau Chief of ABC7 News in Washington, D.C. He has produced the Emmy Award-winning African American Connection, as well as the Emmy-winning news special Field Trip to Ballou.

Employment

WJLA TV

CBS News

WCCO TV

KMSP TV

WREN Radio

KSJN-Radio

Reed's IGA

Favorite Color

Blue

Bob Butler, Jr.

Broadcast journalist Bob Butler was born on June 5, 1953 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Butler grew up in a Navy family, and, as a child, he travelled throughout the United States. Butler attended St. Joseph-Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, where he graduated in 1971. Before graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served in Guantanamo Bay and Newport, Rhode Island before receiving an honorable discharge in Philadelphia in 1974.

In 1974, Butler moved to Washington, D.C. and then Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he worked for Bell Telephone as a directory assistance operator while moonlighting as a disco deejay. In 1977, Butler returned to Hayward, California and studied at Chabot College where he also filled hourly newscasts at the campus station. Upon graduating from Chabot College in 1979, he briefly worked at Soulbeat Television; and, in 1980, was hired as a general assignment reporter at KDIA radio in Oakland, California.

Butler transferred to San Francisco State University and interned at KCBS radio in 1981. Shortly after, he was brought on as a desk assistant and then was hired on staff in 1982. Butler worked at the editor’s desk and became a fill-in reporter during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake where he covered a wide range of topics throughout the United States, including local and national politics, natural disasters, and general news.

Butler became the weekend morning reporter in September of 1999 and covered international stories in Brazil, Europe, and countries in Africa such as Namibia, Tanzania, and Senegal. In 2005, Butler was promoted to diversity director for CBS Corp. where he recruited diverse candidates for positions with the company’s radio and television stations. He left full-time employment at CBS in 2006, and was a lead reporter on the Chauncey Baily Project as an investigative reporter from 2007 to 2011.

Butler’s career includes leadership roles in various professional organizations. In 2000, Butler became a member for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and began mentoring college students on the radio projects in 2002. He was elected president of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) in 2004, where he served for five years. In 2007 Butler was elected as NABJ’s regional director. He was promoted to vice-president of broadcast in 2009, and was elected the 20th President on August 2, 2013.

Butler joined the San Francisco board of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in 1999. He became a member of the inaugural national board when AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) merged in 2012, creating SAG-AFTRA.

Butler lives with his wife, Lois Butler, in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have one son, Robert Butler, III.

Bob Butler was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.303

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/6/2013

Last Name

Butler

Maker Category
Middle Name

Henry

Schools

San Francisco State University

Chabot College

St. Joseph Notre Dame High School

St Joseph School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Bob

Birth City, State, Country

Chelsea

HM ID

BUT06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Hard Work, Low Pay or Hard Work, No Pay

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/5/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Television news reporter Bob Butler, Jr. (1953 - ) served as 20th president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) from 2013 to 2015, and as president of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) from 2004 to 2009.

Employment

Chauncey Bailey Project

KCBC Radio

KCBS Radio

KDIA Radio

SoulBeat Television

AT&T

United States Navy

CBS

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4389,71:4754,77:6725,118:8039,156:8404,162:8696,167:9864,187:14560,234:15440,249:16960,278:17840,293:18720,307:19120,313:22880,378:23200,383:24320,400:25280,422:32595,502:35670,569:38595,630:38895,636:39495,646:39945,654:40470,662:43170,726:50090,746:50425,752:53212,793:55878,821:56308,827:63014,909:68790,1025:71298,1080:81920,1223:87020,1306:87615,1314:88040,1320:96430,1449:98250,1492:100630,1536:101540,1590:111515,1761:111847,1864:129590,2014$0,0:5502,133:6066,141:6536,147:7382,157:7758,162:14790,257:24592,363:24864,368:31574,424:32300,436:32762,444:34412,496:34676,501:37100,517:37780,533:38868,558:43829,642:44588,654:45278,668:46589,685:47279,719:47831,737:50453,802:53260,815:54044,827:55122,848:56788,869:66788,1044:67750,1068:70118,1119:74454,1162:80342,1333:80918,1345:81302,1355:81558,1361:82262,1373:82518,1378:83606,1406:83926,1412:84182,1417:84438,1422:94806,1535:95546,1546:96138,1561:96878,1605:97174,1614:97618,1714:117464,1961:118472,1976:123820,2012:126362,2107:132430,2241:140546,2369:143552,2395:144263,2405:145132,2427:145448,2432:146001,2441:146475,2448:155639,2631:157298,2654:164006,2706:165098,2729:165488,2735:171150,2828:178220,2982:183050,3033:184156,3063:185894,3113:187237,3146:191424,3262:200269,3375:216744,3638:219366,3707:220608,3735:221505,3753:221781,3758:223092,3797:224196,3816:224817,3830:225093,3835:227094,3873:234350,3930:234805,3936:241175,4074:241994,4084:251720,4212:253445,4269:255032,4347:258413,4395:259724,4424:262208,4483:268976,4597:276321,4683:281030,4758:281342,4763:281654,4768:282824,4786:284150,4812:284774,4821:285866,4842:286412,4850:287738,4879:288284,4888:290936,4934:302792,5058:304860,5077
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bob Butler, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about moving during his childhood and teenage years

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls attending his paternal grandfather's funeral in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about moving and his childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes the various houses he lived in as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his early experiences with media and watching HistoryMaker Belva Davis on television

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about being an altar boy

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his high school sports experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his decision to enroll in the U.S. Navy in 1971

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy and civil unrest in California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes experiencing racial discrimination as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the history of racial discrimination in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his parents' generation's attitude towards race relations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his responsibilities at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bob Butler, Jr. remembers working with Cubans on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls a defense training exercise at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes DJing parties in high school and in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about drinking and smoking during his service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes various jobs he held after being discharged from the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about working for Bell Telephone Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about DJing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his decision to enroll at Chabot College in Hayward, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his first newscasts at Chabot College in Hayward, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about working at Soul Beat in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about black media figures in the late 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the origins and growth of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Bob Butler, Jr. explains his reasons for leaving Soul Beat in 1979

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes Soul Beat's coverage of the Dr. Yusuf Bey case in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about Yusuf Bey's Your Black Muslim Bakery

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the death of Chauncey Bailey and the reporting on the story

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about Chauncey Bailey

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about reporting on Chauncey Bailey's 2007 murder in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls attending college part-time at San Francisco State University while working full-time at KCBS

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about stories he reported on at KCBS and the awards the station won

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the unpredictable nature of news reporting

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about mentoring aspiring black journalists and becoming president of the National Association of Black Journalists in 2013

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls joining the National Association of Black Journalists and attending his first conference in 2000

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about becoming a mentor for aspiring black journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about becoming diversity director for CBS in 2005

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls the death of a student journalist at the 2005 National Association of Black Journalists Convention

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about visiting Africa in 2005

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the raid on Your Black Muslim Bakery following the 2007 murder of Chauncey Bailey

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls the 2008 election of HistoryMaker Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his post-CBS projects

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about becoming a regional director for the National Association of Black Journalists board in 2007

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his role as vice president of broadcast for the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his 2013 campaign for president of National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes new programs and his vision for the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes a 2012 story he wrote about forced mortgage payoffs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes a 2012 story he wrote about forced mortgage payoffs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls seeking treatment for his drug addiction

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

10$8

DATitle
Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his responsibilities at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the unpredictable nature of news reporting
Transcript
So well, how did things go in the [U.S.] Navy? Now, you--which one of those options did you--$$I ended up becoming a storekeeper.$$Okay.$$You know, and my first duty station was down in Guantanamo Bay [Cuba], and, you know, I mean I worked at--the department I was in was port services. And these are the folks that drive the boats, you know, the ferries, the tugs. I was in that department. And because I was in that department, you know, I mean I was the--we had two storekeepers. There was the first class, and there was me. So I'm the, I was what they call a striker, when you're an enlisted man, and you're going for a rate, until you reach a certain level, you are called a striker. So I was striking to become a storekeeper, Seaman First Class, storekeeper. And so I'm learning from, you know, the E6, the First Class storekeeper, and, you know, that's what you do, you know. So my job was to issue spare parts and conduct inventories, and when I stood duty, I stood duty at the port patrol tower. There's a picture of me actually standing up there at the tower, overlooking the [Guantanamo] Bay, you know, at Guantanamo Bay, and then, you know, my job--I was up there at the port control tower where they still use semaphore [ph.], I mean the signal lights. And so the people that stood duty up there were signal men. So I'm trying to learn Morse code and learn how to do--maybe I can do this instead of being a storekeeper, you know. And then eventually, they, I was, I would go from standing duty up there and so they go to bed at midnight. And I had to stay up all night, you know. That was some hard stuff, especially with the stuff I was doing during the day (laughter). But, you know, there are times when I would fall asleep, you know. You're not supposed to fall asleep, but that's--it's hard to stay up all night long. But I did that, and then I became a boat coxswain, you know, driving the small boats, you know. And that was, that was kind of cool to be out there doing that.$Now, how do you approach ra- how is delivering radio news different from delivering news on television?$$Well, I always tell, when I talk to young people, I talk about the difference between what I do, what a television reporter does, what a print reporter does, and what a public radio reporter does, public radio. So we all come out of the same newscast--same news conference at 10:30 in the morning. The TV reporter is complaining because they, they've gotta be on the air at 5:00, and they only have, you know, five hours, six hours to put their story together. And they have to go and gather tape and, you know--the print reporter is complaining because their deadline is 7:00 that night, and they got a lot of people they gotta talk to, you know. The public radio reporter will go back to the station, you know, think about it, maybe have lunch, produce their story. And it might get on this afternoon or tomorrow morning. I walked out of the same news conference, dialing the phone, pulling the sound bite and going on the air. My story has to be just as accurate as those who are taking several different hours to put their story together--several additional hours to put their story together. But mine has to be just as accurate. Now, mine's not gonna be quite--mine is gonna be sixty seconds in length. So you can only get so much into that, information into that. So the other stories might have more information, but my story is going to have the essence of the story. That's the difference between what I do in commercial radio and what television does, what, you know, what print does and what, you know, other folks do.$$Okay, thank you. So in a given day, then what's the typical--what would be a typical day? I guess, it's probably--I don't know if there is a typical day, but is there, I mean what would be a typical day for you--(unclear) (simultaneous)--$$So a typical day, let's say you're working ten to six. You come to the station at ten o'clock. You get your assignment. You're, they want you on the air in the noon, so you've gotta be on. You know, you've got two hours now to get your story and get the pieces to your story you need to get before you get on the air in the noon hour.$$So when you show up, you have to hit the ground running, right?$$Oh, yeah.$$Okay.$$Oh, yeah, you know, like--just say yesterday. I came to work at three. We had an interview that had already been done with the police about a kid that lit somebody on fire on a bus. The guy that got lit on fire was in the hospital, stable condition. The kid was arrested yesterday. So the story was, they arrested somebody for allegedly lighting this guy on fire on the bus. So I got the tape, and I started at three o'clock, had to be on the air at four. So that's what I did. That's what you do. You, you have to be--it's a very short turnaround many times. Now, that's a typical day. You'd go in, you'd do--and I'd do, I would write three versions of that story. Do the first couple of versions live. And then, you know, record all of three of them, and then work on the story for the next day. So in this particular case, the story was, what's happening in the City of Oakland, City Council meeting. I go in there, sit through the meeting, grab all my tape, and then go back to the station and produce it, get off at eleven o'clock. Any time, you're doing that, give you another, give you an example. In 1991, you know, I play softball. So we had a softball championship game at our league in the next city down, San Leandro [California]. I need to have a morning story. And I'm thinking, look, let me call the [California] Department of Forestry and find out about fire season. It's, we're now in October. How was fire season, and I'm talking to the PI, the Public Information Officer. She says this has been the mildest fire season we've had in recent memory, okay. I start getting these phone calls. Now, mind you, the game starts at six and I'm supposed to get off at four. So I wanna get this story in the can and I'm gonna do something else, and then, you know, I'll be there to get, be there in time to play my game. Start getting these phone calls about a fire over in Oakland [California], and eventually, the editor said, "You'd better get over there." I says, "Okay." Well, I've already got this story in the can about this very mild fire season that can run tomorrow morning. So I'm cool. I can do a couple versions of this story, then come back, drop the car off and head to my game. I come off, get off the [San Francisco-Oakland] Bay Bridge and I see a blanket of smoke that reminded me of Pearl Harbor. And I realized that, I may not be going to the game. This was the Oakland-East Bay Hills fire that killed forty-some people, wiped out several thousand homes and burned for several days, you know. So, any day that you might have all, the best made--your best laid plans, could be knocked awry by something like this.$$Nature is unpredictable.$$Nature is unpredictable, but so is the news business, you know.

Dorothy Tucker

Broadcast journalist Dorothy Tucker was born in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Austin High School in 1974, before attending Northwestern University as a communications major. While enrolled there, she became an intern at Chicago’s WBBM-TV in 1977. In the same year, after graduating, with honors, with her B.S. degree, Tucker was hired as a reporter at WMBD-TV in Peoria, Illinois. She became a reporter in Denver at KWGN and later a reporter and weekend anchor at WREG-TV in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1979, and went to KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1981, where she reported and hosted an award winning talk show . Tucker returned to WBBM as a general assignment reporter in 1984. In 2009, Tucker began a weekly radio show, Customer Service, on WVON-AM.

She serves on the board of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Chicago chapter, and co-chaired the organization’s fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina who have moved to Illinois since the 2005 disaster. Tucker is a member of Northwestern University's Council of One Hundred. She lives in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Tucker is married to investment banker Anthony Wilkins, and has three children that all attend Ivy League universities: (Princeton University, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania).

She has been honored numerous times throughout her career. On two occasions, Tucker has won the Chicago Association of Black Journalists’ annual award for Outstanding Television Reporting, in 1987 and 1994. She has won nine local Emmy Awards, including two for her work on the 2003 and 2004 broadcasts of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon and one for her breaking news reports during the 2008 Northern Illinois University shootings.

Dorothy Tucker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on Dorothy Tucker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.222

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/25/2013

Last Name

Tucker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

William Cullen Bryant School

Roswell B. Mason Elementary School

Robert Emmet Elementary School

Austin College and Career Academy High School

Northwestern University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

TUC08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

God Takes Care Of Babies, Fools And Persistent Reporters.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/13/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream (Butter Pecan)

Short Description

Television news reporter Dorothy Tucker (1956 - ) was a general assignment reporter at WBBM-TV in Chicago for almost 30 years, winning nine local Emmy Awards and several other honors.

Employment

WMBD TV

KWGN TV

WREG TV

KDKA TV

WBBM TV

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
30,0:2375,66:2710,72:19242,327:24375,418:48538,694:48982,699:50407,744:50712,750:62931,981:73264,1080:80859,1253:88442,1400:92535,1440:96930,1486:98035,1508:100500,1558:100925,1564:111210,1710:119498,1797:123513,1906:124024,1915:134125,2105:134853,2149:140313,2246:141314,2266:144040,2305$0,0:16800,285:17424,294:19218,327:30860,474:31330,480:31706,485:32270,493:36548,552:37129,560:55008,802:55620,813:58310,833:70587,985:91982,1354:98282,1506:118230,1644:121015,1678:121515,1683:130058,1786:130502,1798:135978,1934:137532,1991:138864,2017:161410,2279:162187,2293:163963,2319:164962,2334:181737,2505:191730,2613:192430,2621:194630,2935:219851,3247:259590,3626:278344,3822:296810,4207:297158,4212:298115,4228:298637,4247:305856,4308:306192,4318:311736,4423:320000,4552
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Tucker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her mother's role in the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker recalls her parents' early relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her maternal and paternal family reunions

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her mother's volunteerism

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy Tucker describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her relationship with her father

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dorothy Tucker recalls shopping with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dorothy Tucker describes her likeness to her father

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her decision to keep her maiden name

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dorothy Tucker describes her father's business

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Dorothy Tucker remembers her finances while attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Tucker describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker remembers her paternal great-grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker describes her maternal family's land in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker talks about tracing her paternal family slave history

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her early years on Chicago's West Side

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Tucker describes her early neighborhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker talks about playing softball as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker recalls taking care of her hair as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker remembers her experiences with bullies

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker recalls joining the boys swim team

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker talks about being teased about her darker skin tone

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker recalls the white flight from the Austin neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dorothy Tucker remembers her early childhood influences

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dorothy Tucker describes her early academic experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dorothy Tucker talks about meeting her father's high expectations

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Tucker describes her junior high school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her classes at Austin High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker recalls her social circle at Austin High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker describes her social activities at Austin High School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker remembers the inequalities between the white and black schools in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker describes the Introduction to Radio program

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her decision to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dorothy Tucker recalls her transition to Northwestern University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dorothy Tucker remembers being the salutatorian of her graduating at Austin High School

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her experiences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy Tucker describes her social activities at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her internship at WMBD-TV in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker recalls her position as reporter at WMBD-TV in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker remembers being fired from WMBD-TV in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker talks about reporting for KWGN-TV in Denver, Colorado, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker talks about reporting for KWGN-TV in Denver, Colorado, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker recalls the hiring practices for black women in the early '80s

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dorothy Tucker remembers facing racism and sexism at WREG-TV in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dorothy Tucker describes the importance of investigating motives in a news story

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker talks about the number of African American reporters in her early career

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker recalls her first experiences with the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker remembers connecting with the black journalism community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker describes the Memphis Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker talks about the etiquette for black journalists in the South

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker recalls issues concerning salary for black journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dorothy Tucker remembers applying to KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dorothy Tucker describes the black journalism community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dorothy Tucker recalls founding the Pittsburgh Media Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her assignments at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker describes her talk show at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker remembers being hired at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker describes her mentor, Bob Petty

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker talks about preparing for the news market in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker recalls her transition to reporting in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dorothy Tucker remembers Harold Washington's tenure as mayor of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dorothy Tucker describes the impact of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Dorothy Tucker talks about the racial factor of reporting in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Dorothy Tucker recalls Harry Porterfield's demotion at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Dorothy Tucker recalls Harry Porterfield's demotion at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dorothy Tucker describes the relationship between news stations and the black community in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker talks about notable African American on-air personalities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker recalls Johnathan Rodgers' tenure as the general manager of WBBM-TV

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker remembers winning the Chicago Black Journalists' award for Outstanding Television Reporting

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker recalls her experience with discrimination at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker talks about Operation PUSH's involvement in her discrimination incident at WBBM-TV

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker recalls her decision to remain at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dorothy Tucker remembers her work in the media outside of TV news reporting

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dorothy Tucker describes Felicia Middlebrooks' pay scandal

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dorothy Tucker describes her parents' reactions to her career

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her family

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dorothy Tucker reflects upon her career

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dorothy Tucker describes Chicago's current media market

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dorothy Tucker reflects upon her life

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dorothy Tucker talks about her future projects

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dorothy Tucker reflects upon her legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$8

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Dorothy Tucker describes the Introduction to Radio program
Dorothy Tucker talks about Operation PUSH's involvement in her discrimination incident at WBBM-TV
Transcript
Where was the radio program [Introduction to Radio]? Was it at a radio station?$$It was at WBEZ [WBEZ Radio, Chicago, Illinois], yeah, which is, you know, yeah, we would go down to the radio station and have class in a room you know about the size of this one with radio equipment around. It was a--we--they taught us how to speak on the radio and how to do radio productions. And we would do sports, and we'd read books related to broadcasting. It was fabulous, yeah. I mean, it really introduced me to the city, to the culture in the city, you know. And my father [Ernest Tucker] had already kind of taken us, "You got to go outside your neighborhood [Austin, Chicago, Illinois]." Now this program took us to plays. You know, for the first time, we saw 'Raisin in the Sun' ['A Raisin in the Sun,' Lorraine Hansberry]. The different you know, theater programs that we went to, and I loved it. You know, and just going to the different museums and stuff and hearing about things that I never, I didn't know existed. It was everybody in our class. I don't think anybody else went into broadcasting. But that's why I majored in radio, TV, film, when I went to college [Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois]. Because I knew then, I was sixteen years old--I was like, this is what I want to do. I want something in broadcasting. I didn't know what, but I knew I wanted something in broadcasting then. And, so I went into college knowing exactly what I wanted to do.$$When you were in that program, did you get a chance to meet some of the radio personalities at that station?$$Um-hm. The--Charles [ph.]--I know--I'll have to get you the name. I don't remember. I know his first name was Charles because he allowed us to call him that. And he was, he did radio there at the station. You know, he was one of the guys. And he ran the program, too. So really kind of--and it was the board of education's [Chicago Board of Education] pro- radio station. So, you know, he kind of ran it from the board. But, you know, outside of the other--outside of him, no. We, if, you know, we probably did, I don't remember. You know I remember being in the booths and stuff. So I would imagine that the people who came in--none of them really made an impression upon me that I can remember.$Now did you know Operation PUSH [Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Chicago, Illinois] was going to get involved? Did they-$$No. I was--no (laughter). No, no. I was literally at home celebrating my fifth wedding anniversary, my fifth wedding anniversary. And I put my dress back on, and the children were my ring bearers. I had two little boys [Trevor Wilkins and Cody Wilkins] by then. And we had set the house up ca- cathedral style. And the preacher was there. And I get a phone call from my husband's [Anthony Wilkins] aunt, who says to me, "They're talking about you on the radio. And they have gone on radio, and Reverend Barrow [HistoryMaker Reverend Willie T. Barrow] said that if you're too black for Channel 2 [WBBM-TV, Chicago, Illinois], then we're too black to watch." I'm like, what? So people are coming to my home. Operation PUSH though, Rainbow PUSH, is five blocks away. I take my dress off, I throw some clothes on, I go down there. And, you know, I see Janette Wilson. And I'm like, "What are you doing? Who said this?" Because I had just really kind of resigned myself to--if--again, this is their candy store. If this is what they decide they want to do or don't want to do, I understand this. Okay, fine, you know, I'll live out the two months or whatever I have on my contract and then figure out something else to do in life. And, so I was really angry with her, because I'm like, "What are you doing?" You know, nobody talked to me. Where did this come from? And she said to me simply, "This is bigger than you. This is not about you. This is about the larger community, and they can't do this." And I just turned around and I left and went back to my wedding, to my party. And fortunately, the next day--and I, you know, I remember the media people were like, oh, you know, and after this came out, she took off and she left. Well, I had vacation scheduled already (laughter) because, you know, we were going to take the family--we were going to celebrate this fifth year anniversary. And our honeymoon--we were going to take the kids now. So we flew out the next day to Mexico. We went to, you know, because--which was a planned trip, to go to Mexico. We go to Mexico for the week. And, during the time that we were down there, again, it was that word of mouth in the community, and things were crazy. Well, you know, at the time, I, you know, I looked at it, and I was furious, I was embarrassed. I was like, just let it go. You know, I look, I look back on it now and say, "They saved, they saved my job." You know, and Janette and all of them just really totally ignoring me, and doing whatever they were going to do. They saved my job. Because, you know, I go away. And I didn't even, I didn't even go back home. Because, you know, I couldn't get in touch with anybody, and this was obviously before cell phones and stuff like that. So I'm like out the box for this week that I'm in, I'm in Mexico. And the only thing I'm doing down there is, you know, I know what was happening before I left, but I don't know what's going on while I'm down there. And I do one of those moments of, you know, I walk the beach--and you let go, you let God. You know, and I was kind of like, it be Your will. If I'm supposed to not do this and stay home with the kids or whatever, you know, I throw my hands up. I said, "I can't fight this battle, I'm done." And I got back, and there were reporters outside my home, according to my neighbors. So I went to my mom's [Emma Hill Tucker] house, and I just stayed. I just stayed at my mom's house. And then I got a phone call from Johnathan [HistoryMaker Johnathan Rodgers], and Johnathan explained what had been going on. And he, and that's when he said, "You know, we just need to, you know, let's just take some time, just step back and take some time. Come on in, you know, and let's talk about this." And Applegate [William Applegate] was the general manager because, because by then Johnathan was the station manager. And, you know, it was the same sort of thing. You know, they were kind of like, community is not happy about this move (laughter).$$(Laughter) Again?$$Exactly, exactly. And I'm sure somebody in New York [New York] is going, again? You know, this wasn't a good thing. So let's just, you know, do the one year and sign it, and let's see what happens. So I'm like, okay. And like I said, six weeks after that, it was like nothing had ever happened. It was amazing. It was just, shows you just how crazy the business is.

Gwen Ifill

PBS-TV journalist Gwen Ifill was born on September 29, 1955 in New York City to her parents, O. Urcille Ifill, Sr., an African Methodist Episcopal minister who hailed from Panama, and her mother, Eleanor Husbands from Barbados. Her father's ministry required the family to live in several cities in different church parsonages throughout New England including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York, where the family resided in federally subsidized housing. Ifill's interest in journalism was rooted in her parents' insistence that their children gather nightly in front of the television to watch the national news. In 1973, Ifill graduated from Classical High School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Four years later, she received her B.A. degree in communications from Simmons College in Boston. During her senior year, she interned at the Boston Herald American newspaper.

Ifill worked at the Boston Herald American newspaper as a reporter in 1977. She left in 1980 to work as a writer for the Baltimore Evening Sun where she was able to work as a political reporter. In 1984, Ifill moved to Washington D.C. to work as a political reporter for the Washington Post where she covered the suburban Maryland beat until 1988, when she was promoted to the national news desk and sent to report on the Republican National Convention. Ifill then accepted a position as White House correspondent for the New York Times in 1991. She went on to NBC News in 1994 and worked in the Washington, D.C. bureau as chief Congressional and political correspondent. In 1999, Ifill became the first African American woman to host a prominent political talk show on national television when she became moderator and managing editor of PBS’s Washington Week and senior political correspondent for The PBS NewsHour. In 2004, Ifill moderated the vice-presidential debate between Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and Democrat Senator John Edwards, and in 2008, she moderated the vice-presidential debate between Democratic Senator Joe Biden and Republican Governor Sarah Palin.

Ifill was the recipient of numerous awards including the George Foster Peabody Award and the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award. Her book The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, was published in 2009.

Gwen Ifill was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2012.

Ifill passed away on November 14, 2016.

Accession Number

A2012.058

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/8/2012 |and| 3/22/2014

Last Name

Ifill

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Simmons College

Springfield Central High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Gwen

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

IFI01

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/29/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gravy

Death Date

11/14/2016

Short Description

Newspaper reporter and television news reporter Gwen Ifill (1955 - 2016 ) was the first African American woman in history to host a prominent political talk show on national television when she became moderator and managing editor of 'Washington Week' and senior correspondent for 'The PBS NewsHour'.

Employment

Boston Herald American

Baltimore Evening Sun

Washington Post

New York Times

NBC News

PBS Washington Week

The PBS NewsHour

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gwen Ifill's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gwen Ifill lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill describes her father's personality and the values he taught her

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gwen Ifill talks about her father's family background in Panama City, Panama and his immigration to the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill describes her mother's family background in Barbados

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon how she embodies her parents' characteristics

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gwen Ifill describes her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gwen Ifill describes her earliest childhood memories of growing up in poverty

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gwen Ifill lists the cities she lived in as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gwen Ifill describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gwen Ifill describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gwen Ifill describes her upbringing in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gwen Ifill describes her upbringing in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) church, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gwen Ifill talks about her identity as an African American with Caribbean heritage

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill describes her relationships with her parents as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gwen Ifill talks about her close relationship with her brother and love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill recalls the assassinations of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gwen Ifill recalls her exposure to the news as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gwen Ifill recalls her father's patriotism and race pride

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gwen Ifill describes her educational experience from junior high school in Steelton, Pennsylvania through high school in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gwen Ifill describes her experiences entering Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gwen Ifill talks about her internships and mentors while at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Gwen Ifill talks about African American student organizations at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Gwen Ifill describes her experiences interning at the Boston Herald American newspaper

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Gwen Ifill remembers Shirley Chisholm speaking at her graduation from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts in 1977

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gwen Ifill recalls reporting on the first big story of her career at the Boston Herald American

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gwen Ifill talks about attending St. Paul AME Church in Cambridge, while living in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill explains how she learned about politics as a reporter at the Boston Herald American

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gwen Ifill talks about the lessons she learned as a political reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill talks about covering Baltimore, Maryland Mayor William Donald Schaefer for the Baltimore Evening Sun

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gwen Ifill talks about accepting a job at The Washington Post

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gwen Ifill describes what it was like to be an African American woman reporter at The Washington Post in the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon the lack of diversity in The Washington Post's newsroom

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gwen Ifill talks about moving to The Washington Post's national staff in 1987 and covering HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon the significance of HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Gwen Ifill talks about being hired by The New York Times as a congressional correspondent

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Gwen Ifill's interview, session two

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gwen Ifill talks about other African American journalist working at The Washington Post in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill talks about the repercussions of the Janet Cooke scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gwen Ifill talks about covering Prince George's County, Maryland while a reporter for The Washington Post

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill talks about covering long-shot candidates in the 1988 presidential campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gwen Ifill recalls interviewing voters with journalist David Broder

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gwen Ifill talks about covering long-shot candidates in the 1988 presidential campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gwen Ifill describes what it is like to a reporter on a political campaign trail

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gwen Ifill describes the dynamics between reporters and candidates' staff while on the campaign trail

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gwen Ifill talks about being hired by The New York Times

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gwen Ifill describes her first experiences appearing on television

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gwen Ifill talks about the prestige of working at The New York Times

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill talks about being hired away from The New York Times by NBC News

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gwen Ifill talks about her close friendships with HistoryMaker Michele Norris and Michel Martin who also transitioned into television at the same time

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill recalls taking care of her mother before she died

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gwen Ifill lists other African American journalists transitioning from print to TV journalism in the early 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon the differences between commercial television and public broadcasting, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gwen Ifill explains how she was hired by PBS for 'Washington Week in Review' and 'PBS NewsHour'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon the differences between commercial television and public broadcasting, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gwen Ifill describes her vision for 'Washington Week'

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Gwen Ifill explains the structure of the Public Broadcasting Service and the evolution of 'PBS NewsHour'

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Gwen Ifill explains the difference between 'PBS NewsHour' and 'Washington Week'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gwen Ifill recalls moderating the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gwen Ifill recalls how she prepared to moderate the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill recalls moderating the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gwen Ifill talks about breaking her ankle before the 2008 vice presidential debate

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill recalls writing an op-ed in The New York Times denouncing Don Imus's racist comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gwen Ifill recalls writing an op-ed in The New York Times denouncing Don Imus's racist comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Gwen Ifill talks about mentoring young African American women

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Gwen Ifill describes the process of writing her book 'The Breakthrough: Race and Politics in the Age of Obama'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon the evolution and the next generation of African American politicians

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill recalls being considered to be the successor to 'Meet the Press' host Tim Russert

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon her experience interviewing celebrities for The HistoryMakers

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Gwen Ifill recalls her experience interviewing HistoryMaker Ursula Burns for 'An Evening with Ursula Burns'

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Gwen Ifill talks about her positive African American identity

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Gwen Ifill describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon the legacy of her generation of African Americans

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon the lessons she learned as a the child of immigrants

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon her racial identity

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Sponsors of 'An Evening With Gwen Ifill'

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Introduction of 'An Evening With Gwen Ifill'

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Gwen Ifill talks about the importance of creating a sense of accessibility for her audience

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Film clip of Gwen Ifill's family background and education

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Gwen Ifill describes her childhood household

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Gwen Ifill recalls using her platform to address the racial slur directed at the Rutgers University women's basketball team in 2007

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Gwen Ifill describes her childhood aspirations and her experiences working at the Boston Herald American

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Gwen Ifill talks about her early journalism career and a clip of her transition from print to TV news

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Gwen Ifill recalls covering HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and other long-shot candidates during the 1988 presidential campaign

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Gwen Ifill describes her transition from print to TV journalism and her passion for covering politics

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Gwen Ifill talks about hosting 'Washington Week in Review' and being a senior political correspondent for the 'PBS NewsHour'

Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Film clip of Gwen Ifill's career at PBS, hosting political debates and interviewing HistoryMakers

Tape: 9 Story: 13 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon being a role model

Tape: 9 Story: 14 - Gwen Ifill recalls her experiences hosting vice presidential debates

Tape: 9 Story: 15 - Special message from HistoryMakers Dionne Warwick and Diahann Carroll

Tape: 9 Story: 16 - Gwen Ifill recalls her interviews for The HistoryMakers 'An Evening With...' events

Tape: 9 Story: 17 - Gwen Ifill reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 18 - Gwen Ifill describes her dream interview subject for The HistoryMakers

Tape: 9 Story: 19 - Musical selection from Mae Ya Carter Ryan

Tape: 9 Story: 20 - Information on how to order a copy of 'An Evening With Gwen Ifill'

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$9

DATitle
Gwen Ifill recalls her exposure to the news as a child
Gwen Ifill talks about moving to The Washington Post's national staff in 1987 and covering HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaign
Transcript
So what's the discussion occurring around the dining room table? Are you--'cause I remember, you know, in our household there was, you know, all these things were sort happening; you know and your parents [O. Urcille Ifill, Sr. and Eleanor Husbands Ifill] were discussing it, and so I'm just wondering is that--how are you being formed? You know, how is your mind being formed about events, you know, that are occurring in the world at a time that, you know, you're young but very aware of what--$$Yeah. But part of it is we really read the newspaper every day, and we watched the news every night. So, part of the reason I'm a journalist today is 'cause I remember we got the afternoon paper, I remember reading it. Every place we lived, we got the newspaper. We read it. We were--we took it in. I loved the idea that someone somewhere was asking questions and getting their name on a story and to tell the story. And then we watched '[The] Huntley-Brinkley [Report]' growing up. I mean, we were very keenly aware of what was happening in the world around us, and when we would talk about it at the table. And then my father would throw provocative ideas onto the table so that we could fight with him about it, so that we could--I don't think we were even conscious of that's what he was doing at the time. He would say something outrageous, and we'd say, "That's not true." But it would force you to think through what you believed and backup your arguments. So we, you know, my brother was a star on the debate club. I don't think it's an accident that he knew how to debate, because he learned how to do it at the table. And we all, in that sense, still kind of do that when we get together at Thanksgiving. We still talk about current events. We still--everyone still has to be a little bit literate about that and we find a way to be.$What are you learning about national politics at this point? And are you covering national or are you covering, in 19--$$In 1987, I covered--I was recruited to the national staff [at The Washington Post] by a woman by the name of Ann Devroy who was a political editor, who took a look at her staff of reporters and said, "I've got nothing by middle-aged white guys." And she consciously said, "This is a bad idea." So she looks--started looking around the metro staff. Who do we have? Who else has covered politics? And she--my interview for the job, but she hired me in part because she thought I would bring up a new--a fresh eye, new blood to these guys who'd been covering things the same since the '70s [1970s]. And one of the people who I have to say embraced me and completely was happy to see me and guided me along the way was David Broder, who had been doing this forever, but saw in me the possibility to learn something he didn't know. I find at different points throughout my career, there were always the people who were most helpful to me and nurturing were often people who thought that there was something I could tell them. Tim Russert was the same way. "What is it that you know that I don't know? Tell me, and then I can tell you what you don't know. We can help each other." And so, as a result, I learned from David Broder how to listen and talk to voters and to value what individuals say as much, if not more, than what official statements say, and to listen more closely. And there was so--there was such a rich--there was such a rich group of folks to learn from if you wanted to, if you wanted to be open to it, and if you didn't pretend like you knew it all, and I didn't know anything. I knew nothing about covering national politics. I was at the bottom of the totem pole, so I was sent out to cover all the candidates who were never going to be president. I had--if they were--looked like they were the most improbable, I was there to cover Pat Buchanan; I was there to cover [Marion Gordon] "Pat" Robertson, and I was there to cover every person left standing; 1988 was my first campaign, national campaign, and 'til the last person standing, who was not the nominee, was [HistoryMaker Reverend] Jesse [L.] Jackson. And so on Jesse Jackson's campaign, he had an entire press corps that was black folk, because in 1984 and 1988, once again, all the people at the bottom of the totem pole on all these different newsroom organizations often were people like me; folk who are covering their first campaign, black people; Marilyn Milloy and--who was working for Newsday at the time, and [HistoryMaker] Joe Davidson, who was working for--who was Joe working for? [The] Wall Street Journal, I guess? Maybe I'm missing another newspaper. But there were, like, a bunch of us who were all-[HistoryMaker] Sylvester Monroe was working for Time. We were all working for different newspapers, and we--Phyllis Crock [ph.] was working for NPR, and we all found ourselves out with Reverend Jackson. This was in some ways a weird ghetto-ish thing. And in other ways, it was very useful, because we did kind of get the rhythm of the Jackson campaign. We were attuned to talking to different kinds of people and hearing what they were saying and what was really driving it. We were better versed in trying to get beneath the candidate to find out what was really going on in the campaign, and Reverend Jackson was very cagey character, you know. He knew how to make black reporters feel guilty because he'd say, "You're working for the man, you know, so you're probably selling me out." And he knew how to make white reporters feel guilty by saying, "You know, that's kind of a racist question you're asking." He wouldn't have to say it, but he would imply it so that you were always a little bit off guard. It was also the most disorganized campaign in the history of the world, because he would take off and not know where he was going to land, and he would just--but still wherever he landed there would be four thousand people waiting for him, because he was the phenomenon. He won thirteen states. I mean, we're covering a campaign this year with--there are some people who are not going to win one state, and we're giving them all this all this time. This guy went around and he just--he really earned himself a role at the [Democratic] National Convention in the way that he had in 1984, that made it an exhilarating experience, an exhausting experience to cover, and taught me a whole lot about black politics in a way that served me later when I wrote my book ['The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,' Gwen Ifill]. I mean, I understood kind of the rhythm of black politics and met a lot of the people who were leading the charge in a way that I wouldn't have covering, or never did, covering white politicians because it wasn't as important to them to speak to those communities.

Roshell "Mike" Anderson

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, television news reporter Roshell “Mike” Anderson was born on September 16, 1952 in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and raised in New Orleans. His mother, Mellenese Magee Anderson moved to New Orleans where she was a cook at The Court of Two Sisters Restaurant. His father, Robert Anderson, was a sergeant in the Korean War. Anderson was raised in the Algiers Church of God in Christ, where he first gained experience in public speaking and singing for an audience. In 1968, he developed a popular impression of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Graduating from Clarke High School in New Orleans in 1970, Anderson, known as “Cool Breeze,” patterned himself after Dr. Daddyo, a local radio personality, and CBS-TV news anchor, Walter Cronkite. Anderson attended Louisiana State University and the Career Academy School of Broadcast Journalism in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating in 1971.

Anderson earned his first class license in Atlanta in 1970 and worked at a number of southern radio stations, including WXNS, WKLS, WAOK, as announcer and disc jockey. He has been known as Roshell Magee and General Frank Magee. Anderson developed a singing and song writing career before getting involved with television. His 1972 record, “Snake out of Green Grass” made the Billboard charts followed by “Grapevine Will Lie Sometimes” in 1974. Anderson then took to the concert circuit. He joined WLWI-FM in Montgomery, Alabama in 1978 and switched to rival WXVI-FM in 1979. That same year, Anderson got his start in television at WAPI-TV in Birmingham, Alabama. As a news reporter, “Mike” Anderson covered the tense case of a black woman shot nine times by Birmingham police.

Before joining WISN-TV 12 News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Anderson worked as a news anchor and reporter at KIRO-TV in Seattle, Washington. During his tenure at WISN, Anderson has been the recipient of many awards, including his work on the award-winning documentaries Children in the Line of Fire and Solutions to Violence. He has interviewed four American presidents: Richard M. Nixon, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He is a current member of the Wisconsin Black Media Association.

Anderson lives in Brown Deer, Wisconsin and has three children: Nicole, Mellenese and Michael. When not reporting the news, he is still a professional recording artist; cutting the album, Sweet and Sour Soul in 1988 and Rolling Over in 2006.

Accession Number

A2007.331

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/27/2007

Last Name

Anderson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School

Career Academy

Andrew J. Bell Junior High School

McDonogh No. 32 Literacy Charter School

Washington Parish Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Roshell "Mike"

Birth City, State, Country

Bogalusa

HM ID

AND09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Good Lord Willing.Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

9/16/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Neckbones, Okra

Short Description

Television news reporter, musician and singer, and radio dj Roshell "Mike" Anderson (1952 - ) was an anchor and reporter for WISN-TV Channel 12 News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had an extensive career as a radio personality, singer and songwriter before starting his television career.

Employment

WGOV Radio

WERD Radio

WLWI Radio

WAPI-TV

KIRO-TV

WISN-TV

Nashboro Records

Sunburst Records, Ltd.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6142,233:10952,353:11322,359:15109,367:23650,577:24015,583:30220,708:30512,752:42155,885:42503,890:45635,949:51899,1073:64154,1170:66174,1234:86341,1461:86746,1467:91120,1534:104370,1717:105270,1739:108546,1761:109026,1767:112482,1811:116610,1856:123170,1908:125546,1952:130562,2036:130914,2041:150552,2278:157494,2478:165432,2551:166370,2562$0,0:474,16:790,21:6817,118:8593,138:14906,188:15396,194:18060,237:18735,247:19110,253:20235,335:20610,341:21660,358:22110,366:28860,480:29160,485:29460,490:30210,502:30510,507:34396,530:37784,591:38169,597:38477,602:39247,613:43146,672:57812,893:58571,909:59054,917:65471,1105:66575,1131:67058,1139:71380,1156:74878,1247:75340,1255:76132,1281:76594,1290:78904,1358:85336,1447:85776,1453:86216,1459:86920,1468:90088,1528:94563,1553:97323,1625:98220,1701:103878,1802:104223,1808:104982,1826:107121,1886:107742,1898:108363,1908:108846,1919:109122,1924:109674,1935:110088,1943:111261,1973:111537,1978:112227,1991:113262,2015:133136,2179:134024,2188:135630,2242
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roshell "Mike" Anderson's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Roshell "Mike" Anderson's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers his maternal grandfather's stories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his great aunt and great uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his upbringing in Franklinton, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his mother's employment

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his father's family background and career

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his likeness to his parents, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his likeness to his parents, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about the use of slang

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about the use of derogatory language

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers his high school geometry teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about morality

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his early interest in music

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about religious and secular music

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls his training in broadcast journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers his work at WKLS Radio in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his public speaking experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his early radio career

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls his start as a musical artist

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers WGOV Radio in Valdosta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers performing on the Chitlin' Circuit

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his return to the broadcast industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls joining WAPI-TV in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his experiences as a television reporter in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls covering the eruption of Mount St. Helens

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers joining WISN-TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about his major news stories

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his work schedule

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls joining WAPI-TV in Birmingham, Alabama
Transcript
Now tell us something about J.S. Clark [Joseph S. Clark High School; Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School, New Orleans, Louisiana]. Now, what, was this--this is an all-black high school in--?$$We had one or two white students at Clark--$$Okay.$$--when I was there. One of 'em I think played on the football team. But, it was primar- predominantly black school, Clark was, yeah.$$Okay. All right. And, so, you went there all four years?$$In a black neighborhood, yeah.$$And, did you, did you run for class office or anything like that, or (unclear)?$$Didn't run for any class office.$$Okay.$$I participated in, I did a couple of talent shows. A couple in particular where I recited Dr. Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] speech, after he died in '68 [1968]. At a talent show after that and I did his, I did his I Have a Dream speech.$$Now, were you, in high school when he was--$$Yes.$$Killed?$$Yeah.$$Okay. Can you remember how it affected you and the other students at the time?$$It affect--it had a tremendous impact on me and the other students. And, I had, in the talent show, I, as I said, I did Dr. King's speech. And, I had it down so pat, I could sound just like him. And, deliver it just like him. And, the kids, a lot of 'em thought that when Dr. King died, he was passing, you know, his, his role in life on down to me 'cause I could sound just--'cause I could deliver just like him. And, I became so--and they would call me, people would call me to come to whatever event to do that speech. And, I got so into it that my mom [Mellenese Magee Anderson] started to worry about me. To think that, you know, "No, son, I mean, Dr. King is gone, you're not gonna be Dr. King. You're not Dr. King." And, I had to catch myself too, to realize that no, I'm not the second coming of Dr. King. And, but, it was amazing how I could, without a whole lot of effort, just stand there, and if you didn't know he wasn't in the room, you'd think it was him. And, we were all--because Dr. King, at that time, he was, he was the inspiration that guided us all, you know. We had James Brown of course, 'Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud' those kinds of things. But, Dr. King being the, being the--he was the Moses of, of our time. And, even as young people, you know, we saw that and understood that. So, yeah, when he died it was a tremendous--$$Now, were there riots in New Orleans [Louisiana] when he, when he died?$$I don't recall that there were riots in New Orleans. Not like there were at some other places, no.$And, that was a good time in my life. And, then my news director at WLWI [WLWI Radio, Montgomery, Alabama] left that station and went to Birmingham [Alabama] as a producer. His name was Jimmy Carter [ph.]. Not to be confused with the President Jimmy Carter [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] at the time. But, his name was Jimmy Carter. And, he went to work for WAPI [WAPI-TV] at the time, it's now WVTM [WVTM-TV], Channel 13 in Birmingham, and--as a producer. And, they were looking for more reporters to add on to their staff, so he recommend me. This is a TV station. I'd never done television before. But, I'm thinking, wow, you know, this might be a shot. So, I went up to WAPI and the news director--I made a resume tape of my voice work, gave that to 'em. But, they wanted to see what I could do on camera. So, I went up, they liked my resume, they sent me out on a story and--with another reporter who was gonna report for that day. But, they wanted me to do the same story so they could view it behind the scenes to see how I present it. I asked the guy, the reporter I was with, I said, "What's the hardest thing to do--?" About putting together a story. And, the reporter told me it was a stand up. He said his hardest thing for him to do is to stand in front of that camera and deliver a stand up. And, so, I thought to myself, okay, if that's the hardest thing to do, that's what I'm gonna do. So, I did my whole story straight stand up, wrote it, rememorized it, and did the whole thing stand up. And, then the editor, the photographer who was with us, he says, "Don't you wanna put some B-roll over that?" I said, "B-ro- ?" I didn't know what B-roll was. That meant cover shots, okay. Then I says, "Well, I suppose you could, yeah." Threw a little cover shots over there, put a sound bite in there, and then the news director said that's what he was impressed with. The fact that I was able to stand in front of the camera, with cars passing behind me, and I wasn't distracted, did the whole thing. Took me like two takes, but I did it. So, I got the job. And, I became a reporter there at W- WAPI, Channel 13.$$Okay. This is nineteen seventy--$$Seventy-nine [1979].$$--nine [1979]. Okay.

Deborah Roberts

One of the top black women in broadcast journalism, Deborah Roberts has worked as an anchor, a talk show host, and a reporter. Born on September 20, 1960 in the small town of Perry, Georgia, Roberts was one of nine children. Her father, Ben Roberts, owned a carpet installation business. Even as a girl, Roberts admired television newscasters and dreamed of making it big. She attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 1982 with her B.A. degree in journalism.

After graduating from college, Roberts began working at WTVM-TV in Columbus, Georgia. She later worked in Knoxville, Tennessee for a time, and then, in 1987, moved to WFTV-TV, ABC-TV’s Orlando affiliate. In Orlando, Roberts became a bureau chief and served as the station’s field anchor at NASA during shuttle launches. She also co-anchored the weekend news. The Orlando Sentinel named Roberts the top local female anchor.

In 1990, Roberts began working for NBC news as a general assignment reporter for the Atlanta and Miami bureaus. She traveled to the Middle East in the wake of the Gulf War. In 1992, she went to Barcelona to cover the Summer Olympics and her coverage later garnered her a Sports Emmy. Later that year, when NBC started the newsmagazine Dateline NBC, Roberts was picked as a reporter for the show. She also worked as substitute anchor on the evening news. After five years at NBC, three of them with Dateline NBC, Roberts returned to ABC, as a correspondent for Dateline NBC’s rival show, 20/20. In her time on 20/20, Roberts has reported on such varied topics as sexual abuse in the Amish community, the plight of refugees in Rwanda and manic depression in young children. She did a segment on the emotional journey of African Americans returning to the places in Africa where their ancestors were held as slaves as well as an interview with baseball’s Darryl Strawberry exploring the destructiveness of alcohol abuse. She has also worked as a substitute anchor on other ABC shows, including Good Morning America and World News Weekend. Roberts’ work is widely acclaimed, and she has received the Clarion Award for excellence in communications.

Roberts married NBC weatherman Al Roker in 1995. The couple now lives in New York City with their children.

Roberts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 26, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.213

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2007 |and| 2/26/2008

Last Name

Roberts

Maker Category
Schools

Perry High School

Perry Elementary School

Perry Middle School

University of Georgia

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Deborah

Birth City, State, Country

Perry

HM ID

ROB15

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern France

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/20/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Television news reporter and television news correspondent Deborah Roberts (1960 - ) worked for the news magazines Dateline NBC and 20/20. She also served as substitute anchor on ABC's Good Morning America and World News Weekend.

Employment

NBC News

ABC News

WFTV-TV

WBIR-TV

WTVM-TV

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:4453,131:5183,143:8103,201:8760,212:10001,233:17301,369:18688,393:25475,468:26043,478:28954,527:29309,534:34563,661:35415,676:37900,742:38255,763:40669,810:43935,887:45923,960:46207,965:47343,991:48763,1023:49118,1029:57634,1094:58222,1102:62590,1190:64186,1221:69226,1311:69646,1317:77710,1446:79222,1473:86370,1519:89538,1562:91122,1586:98160,1658:105584,1759:107042,1785:107447,1791:109630,1805:110080,1811:114880,1933:115780,1945:119380,2021:119980,2031:124705,2177:125230,2202:131680,2360:132055,2374:142850,2693:154930,2822:177710,3147:179222,3188:179726,3196:180086,3202:180518,3208:188798,3363:189302,3371:190238,3395:192542,3439:193046,3447:199522,3464:200260,3475:207558,3614:208788,3633:209116,3638:211330,3647$0,0:345,13:828,21:6348,148:6900,158:7797,177:9246,220:9729,232:10902,257:11178,262:11454,267:12351,286:15318,355:15732,369:17388,398:23715,419:24445,430:25321,447:25978,457:27511,482:28022,491:30358,535:33789,617:34884,645:35614,659:36855,675:37439,684:44685,788:45513,812:46479,868:53862,1029:55656,1068:55932,1073:56898,1087:57243,1093:61245,1174:66560,1183:73787,1349:75831,1404:76415,1420:76780,1426:79335,1482:80138,1496:80503,1502:81087,1511:82766,1550:97418,1796:98084,1807:98602,1815:99194,1828:99490,1833:102450,1893:106460,1930:106810,1936:110310,2012:111220,2032:111570,2038:112200,2049:114510,2098:115140,2117:115770,2129:117240,2166:117590,2172:118080,2180:124080,2241:124506,2252:125287,2265:129405,2373:130044,2387:130612,2398:133594,2467:136079,2519:136576,2527:137996,2558:144628,2611:146761,2652:147077,2657:150790,2734:151106,2739:154424,2811:154740,2816:156557,2834:157189,2845:157900,2855:168252,2960:170700,3028:174870,3090:181830,3232:188310,3348:188950,3358:189270,3363:190470,3409:201480,3535:205110,3567
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Deborah Roberts' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts remembers her neighborhood in Perry, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts describes the sights and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Deborah Roberts remembers her home life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Deborah Roberts describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Deborah Roberts describes segregation in the South

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Deborah Roberts remembers New Hope Baptist Church in Perry, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Deborah Roberts recalls the beginning of school integration in Perry, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts recalls integrating Perry Elementary School in Perry, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts recalls joining the cheerleading squad

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts remembers instances of interracial dating

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts recalls instances of skin color discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts remembers her teacher, Dorothy Hardy

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts describes her experiences as a cheerleader

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts recalls her decision to attend the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts recalls her first impression of the University of Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Deborah Roberts describes her early interest in television journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts describes her early career aspiration

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts remembers her first reporting job

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts describes the beginning of her journalism career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts remembers becoming a NBC correspondent

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts recalls her work as a NBC News correspondent

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts remembers her assignment to Kuwait, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts describes lessons that she learned as a correspondent

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts talks about working with Tom Brokaw at NBC News

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts remembers joining the ABC News program, '20/20'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts recalls travelling to Kuwait

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts remembers reporting on the Persian Gulf War in Kuwait, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts remembers reporting on the Persian Gulf War in Kuwait, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts describes the management hierarchy of television networks

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Deborah Roberts' interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts remembers the University of Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts remembers her journalism professors

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts recalls joining NBC News in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes her early career at NBC News

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts remembers her assignment in Kuwait, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts recalls returning to NBC News in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts describes how she met Al Roker

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts remembers her early friendship with Al Roker

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts talks about making mistakes on the air

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts describes her early attraction to Al Roker

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts remembers her transition to ABC News

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts talks about Barbara Walters

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes the ABC News magazine show, '20/20'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts recalls interviewing Rosa Parks

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts remembers her '20/20' assignment to Ethiopia

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts recalls reporting on the Rwandan genocide

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts remembers her trip to Ethiopia

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Deborah Roberts describes her experiences in Ethiopia

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts remembers Lydia Dawson's reunion with her mother in Ethiopia

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts recalls experiencing the culture in Ethiopia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts describes the reaction to her segment, "Her Lost World"

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts talks about the impact of her segment, "Her Lost World"

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes her introduction to news anchoring

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts talks about balancing motherhood with her career

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts talks about her family life

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts describes her social life in New York City

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts talks about her fundraising campaigns

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts talks about the importance of hands-on parenting

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts talks about Al Roker's gastric bypass surgery, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts talks about Al Roker's gastric bypass surgery, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts talks about protecting her family's privacy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes the progression of news media

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts talks about the Internet's impact for news media

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts describes her ABC News career

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts talks about Katie Couric transition to anchor of 'CBS Evening News'

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts reflects upon her career

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Deborah Roberts talks about retirement

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts shares advice to aspiring African American journalists

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts describes how she would like to be remembered

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Deborah Roberts remembers reporting on the Persian Gulf War in Kuwait, pt. 1
Deborah Roberts describes the reaction to her segment, "Her Lost World"
Transcript
And, you know, it was sort of old-fashioned reporting where we would grab a pad and a pen and just go out combing the countryside, looking for stories. Obviously communication was sort of compromised because of what had happened in this country [Kuwait]. Also too, this was 1991, so this was before you know satellite phones and all these things were just so readily available. We did have some satellite phones there, but we couldn't take them out with us. So, I remember, after arriving, running out, going out in a Jeep with a driver; you had to have somebody to accompany you. And, and going to a hospital for instance, to see what had happened to the hospitals, and what about the children who were at these hospitals. And I did a story [for NBC News] about the doctors who didn't have supplies and what was going to happen to the people who were dependent on them. And that story made it back and made it on the air. Now I didn't have a sense of that because I'm there in this country, but I was hearing from other people that they were well received. And then I started hearing stories about little landmines that were scattered out around the countryside. And there was a story about a reporter who had lost a finger, somebody who had lost a foot--a toe. And then, sort of the gravity of the whole thing hit me. There was this black acrid smoke that was hanging over the place because a lot of these oil wells had been set on fire. And during the day, sometimes it actually looked like it was dusk because it was just smoky and, and sort of filthy. And I began to worry, too, a little bit about what I was breathing. So there was like this, this underlying, low grade fear in me at all times, you know, traveling around this bombed out countryside, trying to do these stories. But also, this excitement as a reporter, that I'm over here, you know, covering this amazing assignment. And I remember calling my sister once because we had satellite phone and we could use it from time to time, and I called my sister in Miami [Florida], Janet [Janet Davis]. And she was just so excited to hear from me, and she was so nervous. And, I mean, I can kind of feel it now. I remember just feeling, like, almost in tears because I'm talking to my family and I've, you know, been there for probably more than a week at this point. And she was happy to know that I was okay, and she'd seen one of my reports, and so forth. So it was a brief conversation, but it was just a chance to check in with family.$$Can I ask a question? What--how--had they prepared you about the more- the mores of the Middle East and what, what to do (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Not much.$$They just--$$I mean I was aware, you know, that obviously that women were subjugated and, and, you know, there was a very patriarchal society.$$But even how to dress or not dress?$$No, no. And Kuwait was a very modernized country, so we didn't have to wear the headscarves and things like that. We certainly saw the women in the hijabs and, you know, and the black flowing dresses. But we, as Western correspondents, didn't have to wear them. But I heard some of the producers and correspondents talking about Saudi Arabia and the hypocrisy, and the men who, you know, went to prayer and, you know, and gave these outward appearances, but yet they had alcohol, you know, flowing freely in the bars, and things like this. So I heard my colleagues talking about, you know, this, this culture and how different it was and how hypocritical it was. And women in particular, my women colleagues were really quite insulted and taken aback by, by what they saw.$And the next morning when we got up in our same clothes, and you know somehow I grabbed a brush and managed to just sort of brush my hair together, having no idea what I looked like, and smeared a little lip gloss on my face. I've never gone on television like this before. But I was just going with it. We followed her to the next village because the mother [Asha] wanted her to see some other people. And then we discovered that night--that morning a whole group of villagers from her mother's village had walked the whole night just to come see this long lost daughter from the United States. And so, we come outside and there all these people, maybe twenty of them, standing outside just to greet Lydia [Lydia Dawson]. Oh, my heart burst. Absolutely burst. I mean, on the one hand this is an amazing story; as a journalist: "Wow, I'm getting this, are you getting this? This is a great story." But on the other hand, I'm this black American woman who is witnessing to me just the ultimate in just pride of who your people are and what they symbolize for each other and how these people came together. And they're not educated people, and they certainly don't have any kind of communication that we can speak of; but yet, they knew that this long lost daughter from the United States was home to be with her mother, and they wanted to come and witness it. So they were there, and I got to talk to some of these people. And then we went off to go shoot in some other settings, and these children swarmed me and came over and wanted to talk and, you know, I mean, we just sort of talked the language of humanity, you know, I mean, I hugged them and we--I talked to them and they didn't really understand me, or a few of them maybe spoke a little bit of English. But they were just beautiful, amazing children who were spirited; who were curious; who were energetic. And, I was just loving every minute of it. And later that day, we had to wrap up and head back. And Lydia, of course, had to go back too. And I'll never forget the scene when sh- when we walked back--when we ride back, but then get back to the field where the plane was parked and start walking back to the plane, and her mother along with her brother and sister are standing and watching, and the mother just becomes so despondent, and just so overcome with grief and, you know, huddles down onto the ground and just is clutching--. And Lydia gives her picture of herself and her children. And she's clutching the picture and just holding herself and rocking, and just, just, you know, overwhelmed with grief at losing her daughter yet again in a way. And it was just powerful. And it was difficult for Lydia, too, but she vowed that she would come back, and she has since come back I've understood, she told me. But we came back and told the story, and everybody here at '20/20' was blown away by the majesty, the beauty, the wonder, the adventure, the reveal in this story. I mean, it had everything you could possibly want.$$And how long were you there, did you end up being there?$$I would say three or four days; not very long. I mean, obviously it takes a day to get there. Well, you know, I probably arrived one night, and started shooting the next day, and then jumped on this plane that afternoon, and spent the night, and we spent the next day shooting, came back to Addis [Addis Ababa, Ethiopia], stayed that one more day, and then, I think head- headed back home. So really only three or four days, a brief trip. But it was so magical; so magical and amazing.