port of harlem snippets

December 19, 2003 - January 1, 2004


Remembering Max Robinson 25 Years After His Transition 

On this day (December 20) in 1988, television newsperson Max Robinson died at the age of 49 in Washington, D.C.'s Howard University Hospital. Robinson had AIDS.

In 1978, Robinson became the first Black newscaster to anchor a network television news program when ABC-TV named him one of three coanchors on "World News Tonight." He had become the first Black to anchor a local news show in Washington, D.C. in 1969.

In 1981, he angered ABC with a stinging attack on racism in television during a speech at Smith College. Robinson, was born in Richmond in 1939, married three times, and had four children.

After his death, family friend and spokesperson Roger Wilkins issued a statement on the family's behalf that stated: "During his battle with the disease, Mr. Robinson expressed the desire that his death be the occasion for emphasizing the importance, particularly to the Black community, of education about AIDS and methods for its prevention. More generally he hoped that people would recognize the urgency of developing effective treatments of the disease and more humane policies towards its victims."

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