Radio legend Hal Jackson has passed away today at the age of 97. The cause of death was not revealed.
Jackson was born in Charleston, South Carolina and grew up in Washington, D.C. where he attended Howard University.
According to Wikipedia, Jackson began his broadcasting career as the first African-American radio sports announcer, broadcasting Howard’s home baseball games and local Negro league baseball games.
He became the first African American host at WINX/Washington with The Bronze Review, a nightly interview program in 1939. He later hosted talk show, a program of jazz and blues on WOOK-TV. In 1954 Jackson moved to New Yorkand where he became the first radio personality to broadcast three daily shows on three different New York stations. Four million listeners tuned in nightly to hear Jackson’s mix of music and conversations with jazz and show business celebrities.
In 1971, Jackson and Percy Sutton co-founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC), which acquired WLIB — becoming the first African-American owned-and-operated station in New York. The following year, ICBC acquired WLIB-FM, changing its call letters to WBLS (“the total BLack experience in Sound”).