The First African-American News Anchor

Story by Sean Beach. Photo from

Do you know who the first African-American news anchor was? If not, you will find out today.

Maxie “Max Robinson, Jr., was the first African-American news anchor. He was born on May 1, 1939, in Richmond, VA and died on December 20, 1988, in Washington, DC. He was the co-anchor of “ABC World News Tonight”. He was also the founder of the National Association of Black Journalists. He started off his career at WTOV-TV in Portsmouth, VA. He had to read the news from behind a screen that had the logo on it. One day, Max moved the screen so that he could be seen and he was fired. He then went to WTOP known as WUSA on the Eyewitness News in Washington DC to become the first African-American news anchor on local television. Next, Max was hired to join World News Tonight in Chicago, Illinois. Max became the first African-American to anchor a nightly news broadcast. He left ABC in 1984 to become the first African-American anchor of WMAQ-TV. Then he retired in 1985. In 1988 Max died as a result of AIDS.

Max has inspired me to continue to be a journalist and to keep doing what I love to do. Max also has shown me how to keep moving forward.

Sean Beach is an 8th grade scholar at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.