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Meet Max Robinson, First African-American To Anchor Network News

There is nothing more appeasing to the eye than to turn on the news on television and see people of all races. However, there had to be someone who paved the way for African-Americans to be able to sit at the news anchor desk and come into your home everyday. #Max Robinson made history as the 1st African-American anchor for a television network. Maxie Cleveland “Max” Robinson, Jr. was born on May 1, 1939 to Maxie and Doris Robinson in Richmond, Virginia.


Robinson attended Oberlin College and later served in the United States Air Force. After a medical discharge from the Air Force Robinson began working in radio, he spent a short time at WSSV-AM in Petersburg, Virginia, and became known as “Max The Player.” He worked also for WTOV-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia, but was not pleased with his position because he had to read the news while standing hidden behind a slide of the station’s logo. One night, Robinson had the slide removed, and the next day he was dismissed from work.

He later went to WRC-TV in Washington, DC, there he covered the civil-rights events and the assassination of Dr. King; he was awarded 6 journalism awards because of his coverage. He later joined the Eyewitness News team in WTOP-TV in Washington D.C, where he became the first African-American anchor on a local television program. From there Robinson went on to become the first #Black man to anchor a nightly network. Robinson anchored national news from Chicago, Peter Jennings anchored international news from London, and Frank Reynolds would be the main anchor from Washington, making the appearances a three man show. Robinson was known to speak against what he felt was racism while working at the station, which caused a lot of conflict on the job. Along with Bob Strickland, Robinson founded a journalism program to help young aspiring journalists. When Reynold died in 1983, Jennings was named sole anchor of World News Tonight. Robinson was relegated to the weekend anchor post, as well as reading hourly news briefs. He left ABC in 1984 to become the first black anchor at WMAQ-TV in Chicago. Robinson died in 1988.


Written by PH

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