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40fyd+ Black History Month Feature: Carole Simpson Media Legend

As the first African-American woman to anchor a major United States network newscast, Carole Simpson is a legend in broadcast journalism and media. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Ms. Simpson became involved in drama and the arts at a very early age. Much of that training impacted her signature articulation and charisma in broadcast media. Simpson, a graduate of the University of Michigan, began her career on radio at WCFL in Chicago, Illinois, and was later hired at WBBM. 


Ms. Simpson joined ABC News in 1982 and was an anchor for the weekend edition of World News Tonight from 1988 until October 2003. Simpson became the first non-white woman to moderate a presidential debate by moderating the debate held between George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot, in Richmond, Virginia, in 1992.  The debate was also the first to be held in a town hall meeting format. This effort earned her the  Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists

 

For ABC’s Nightline, Simpson covered the release from prison of South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela after twenty-seven years for his anti-apartheid activities.


Throughout the 1990s, Simpson reported on several breaking news stories including the controversial Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.


Ms. Simpson retired from ABC News in 2006 to begin teaching journalism at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she taught until 2019. In 2010, her autobiography, Newslady, was published. 


Simpson is a former member of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation Board of Trustees, an affiliate of the Radio Television Digital News Association. There, she established the Carole Simpson Scholarship to encourage and help students of color to overcome hurdles. Simpson is on the Advisory Council at the International Women's Media Foundation. 


Ms. Simpson is a trailblazer, legend and epitome of Black excellence. We honor all she has contributed to the media world and her everlasting influence on black aspiring journalists everywhere. 



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