Today in black history, in the year 1948, Bryant Gambel, the first African American to anchor a national network morning news and entertainment program was born. Known for his 15 years as co-host of NBC’s The Today Show, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Rhea Alice (née LeCesne), a city clerk, and Richard Dunbar Gumbel, a judge.
Gambel graduated from De La Salle Institute in Chicago, IL., and spent a majority of his youth growing up on the South Side of the city. Gambel later attended and graduated from Bates College in 1970. In 1971, he became editor of Black Sports Magazine, leaving the following year to begin his television career in 1972, where he became a sportscaster for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, Calif.
Today, you can catch Gambel contributing twice-weekly features to the “Today” show including a regular series entitled “Sportsman of the Week.” His career achievements have earned him 4 Emmy Awards, the Frederick D. Patterson Award from the United Negro College Fund, a Martin Luther King Award from the Congress of Racial Equality and three NAACP Image Awards to name a few.