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
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."