Gil Noble, journalist and legendary broadcast pioneer, dies at the age
6, 2012) New York broadcasting legend Gil Noble, producer and host of
WABC-TV's groundbreaking public affairs program "Like It Is," died after
a long illness on Thursday, April 5 in a hospital in Wayne, N.J. He was
80 years old.
On Thursday, April 12, a wake will be held from 7-10pm at Abyssinian
Baptist Church, where the funeral services will commence on Friday at
10am. He will be buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in upstate New York. In
lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be sent to Gil
Noble Archives, P.O. Box 43138, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043. Moreover, an
invitation is extended for the interested to visit the website
Gilnoblearchive.com, which is under construction.
Born in Harlem on February 22, 1932, Noble spent his life serving the
community he loved. He was recognized locally and nationally as a
dedicated journalist whose work brought attention to the
African-American struggle for advancement.
"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."
Noble, whose career in television news and programming spanned over five
decades, joined WABC-TV as a reporter in July 1967, and was named anchor
of the station's Saturday and Sunday night newscasts in January 1968.
Later that year he became host of Like It Is. Debuting amid the nation's
racial turmoil in the 1960s, Like It Is created the largest body of
programs and documentaries on African-Americans in the country.
Noble dedicated long hours of research and investigation to ensure a
consistently high quality for the program. He often said he learned as
much doing the show as his viewers did watching it. Noble felt it was
his mission to reunite African-Americans with the untold stories of
their history, and he believed Like It Is offered a rare opportunity for
viewers of all races to look at events through an African-American
Throughout his career, Noble interviewed many national and international
luminaries, including heads of state President Nelson Mandela of South
Africa and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; entertainment icons Bill
Cosby, Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne; sports stars Muhammad Ali and
Arthur Ashe; and political notables from Jesse Jackson to Louis
The success of Like It Is made it one of the longest running programs in
Noble also created documentaries on W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Martin
Luther King, Jr. and Charlie Parker, among many other notables. In 1977,
he wrote, produced and directed the first documentary on Paul Robeson
entitled The Tallest Tree in Our Forest.
Noble's great love for the piano fueled a passion for jazz, which he
considered the root of American music. He was an avid supporter of The
Jazz Foundation of America and served on its Board of Directors.
Noble was the recipient of more than 650 community awards, numerous
industry awards including seven Emmys, a Lifetime Achievement Award from
the National Association of Black Journalists, and five honorary
Sadly, Noble's acclaimed career came to an end in July 2011 after he
suffered a devastating stroke.
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