April 17, 2014

Pioneering Journalist Gil Noble Dies

( 4UMF NEWS ) Pioneering Journalist Gil Noble Dies:

Gil Noble, who became one of the city’s most revered black media voices for seeking the truth even when it was hard to find and hard to hear, died Thursday at the age of 80.

He had suffered a debilitating stroke last summer that forced him to leave “Like It Is,” the weekly public affairs program he had hosted on WABC-TV since 1967.

Over nearly five decades he became an admired colleague, an iconic community voice and an uncompromising survivor.

News director Bob Slade of WRKS (98.7 FM) noted that “Like It Is” was the last regular public affairs show in local mainstream media with a focus on black affairs, politics, music and culture.

“Like It Is” featured Noble’s commentary, analysis and interviews with thousands of guests, from the late Kwame Ture, Dr. Martin Luther King and civil rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer to entertainers like Lena Horne and Bill Cosby.

“Gil Noble’s life and work had a profound effect on our society and culture,” said WABC-TV President and General Manager Dave Davis. “His contributions are a part of history and will be remembered for years to come. Today, our hearts are with Gil’s family – his wife Jean and their five children – and we thank them for so lovingly sharing him with the world all these years.”

He won four Emmy Awards for “Like It Is” and other WABC-TV projects, which included documentaries and specials on subjects from Paul Robeson to the inside world of heroin addiction.

Ironically, he never interviewed the man he called his greatest influence, Malcolm X.

In his 1981 memoir, “Black is the Color of My TV Tube,” Noble wrote that Malcolm X “taught me the cold, brutal facts of the Black existence in this country. He told me who I am, and I have kept that knowledge with me ever since, even as I walk down the corridors of ABC wearing a smile.”

Story @ NY Daily News