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Obituaries

Hal Walker, 70; 1st Black Journalist at CBS News

November 27, 2003|From Associated Press

RESTON, Va. — Hal Walker, an award-winning journalist who was the first African American correspondent for CBS News, has died. He was 70.

Walker, who died Tuesday at his Reston home, had been battling prostate cancer.

Walker was one of the first black journalists on national television news in the 1960s. His career at CBS News spanned 12 years, and he went on to a 15-year career with ABC, retiring in 1995.

At CBS, Walker covered foreign and domestic stories, including the inaugurations of Presidents Nixon, Carter and Reagan.

It was Walker's award-winning coverage of race relations at WTOP-TV (now WUSA), CBS' Washington, D.C., affiliate, that attracted network executives.

Walker won a local Emmy and the Capitol Press Club's Journalist of the Year award for anchoring a WTOP Special Report, "A Dialogue with Whitey," about the Washington riots after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

The next month, Walker was hired by CBS News as a reporter in Washington. One of his first assignments was to cover the funeral of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

Born in Darlington, S.C., Walker earned a bachelor's degree from Denison University.

He is survived by his wife, Diane; three children, Alison, Sarah and Stephen; and four grandchildren.

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