Hal Walker of CBS News passes away

MUMBAI: Hal Walker, one of the first African American journalists on national television in the 1960s, passed away at his home at the age of 70. He had been suffering from prostate cancer.

Walker, an award-winning journalist, was the first African American correspondent for CBS News in 1968. At CBS, Walker's repertoire covered foreign as well as domestic stories. He was promoted to correspondent in the network's Washington bureau in September 1969.

His coverage of race relations during his stint with CBS' Washington affiliate WTOP-TV (now known as WUSA) was among his award winning works. Walker also won a local Emmy and the Capitol Press Club's 'Journalist of the Year' award for anchoring a one-hour WTOP Special Report - 'A Dialogue with Whitey', which was about the Washington riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968.

Born in South Carolina, brought up in New York City, Walker studied English and theater at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He pursued other careers, including acting and public service, before taking a job at WTOP in 1963.

He took an assignment for CBS in Bonn in 1977, and left the network three years later to become bureau chief for ABC News in Bonn. His last posting before retiring in 1995 was with ABC News in the network's London bureau.

Walker had retired in 1995 after an illustrious career including a 12-year stint with CBS News and 15 years with ABC.

Walker is survived by his wife, Diane Walker, his three children, Alison Schlatter, Sarah Walker, and Harold Stephen Walker and four grandchildren.

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