NEW YORK CITY (April 5, 2012) - Gil Noble, African-American television journalist and long-time host of the WABC-TV public affairs program Like It Is, died Thursday at the age of 80, according to WABC-TV. Noble suffered a debilitating stroke last July that forced him to step down as host of one of the longest-running, locally-produced, programs of its kind.
"NYABJ is deeply saddened by the loss of Gil Noble, a legendary journalist who helped pave the way for many black journalists," said NYABJ President Michael J. Feeney. "For more than 40 years, he used his voice to not only tell stories that shed light on social inequalities that faced our community, but also to highlight the achievements of blacks in New York City and throughout the diaspora. NYABJ sends our condolences to the Noble family."
"Gil Noble was a giant in broadcasting who reminded generations of newscasters who followed in his footsteps that we have a responsibility to tell it 'like it is'. His loss cannot be calculated personally or professionally," said NYABJ Vice-President of Broadcast Cheryl Wills.
Noble, a four time Emmy Award winner, was born in Harlem and spent most of his career at New York's WABC-TV. He joined the station in 1967 as a reporter and later became an anchor of its Saturday and Sunday night newscasts. A few months later, Noble became host of the public affairs show Like It Is, which featured interviews and commentary from some of the most prominent and influential Black Americans of the 20th century including Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Stokley Carmichael (Kwame Toure), Dr. Martin Luther King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Muhammad Ali, Lena Horne and Bill Cosby.
According to WABC-TV, 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.
An advocacy group established in 1976, the New York Association of Black Journalists provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members and is an affiliate of NABJ, the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation.