New York broadcasting legend Gil Noble, producer and host of WABC-TV’s groundbreaking public affairs program “Like It Is,” passed away peacefully after a long illness.
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 perspective.
I personally learned so much from Gil, and took his quest for knowledge of all things to heart. It was by watching his shows that I learned so much about my people. It was his tone, inflection and eloquence that inspired a generation.
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 doctorates.
Sadly, Noble’s acclaimed career came to an end in July 2011 after he suffered a devastating stroke.
The family will announce plans for a funeral service when arrangements are confirmed. They ask that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Gil Noble Archives, P.O. Box 43138, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043. Proceeds will be used to preserve the archives so that Noble’s mission of educating the community about its culture and history will continue.
Gil interviewed the following:
“‘Like It Is'” offers a rare opportunity to our viewers of all races,” observes Noble, “to look at current and past events through an African-American perspective.”
Heads of State:
Sekou Ture (Guinea), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), Michael Manley and P.J. Patterson (Jamaica), Maurice Bishop (Grenada), Sam Nujoma (Namibia), Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), and Thomas Sankara (Burkina-Faso).
Bill Cosby, Erroll Garner, Sarah Vaughan, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Carmen McCrae, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Nipsey Russell, Lena Horne, Wynton Marsalis, Milt Jackson and Jackie Mclean.
Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Arthur Ashe, and Jim Brown.
Jesse Jackson, David Dinkins, Harold Washington, Louis Farrakhan, Andrew Young, Stokley Carmichael (Kwame Ture), Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and Bruce Wright.
W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X(3), Paul Robeson(2), Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Decade of Struggle, M.L. King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Jack Johnson, Charlie Parker, Essay on Drugs.
Rest In Peace Gil.