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Dorothy Fuldheim

Dorothy Fuldheim-Award for Excellence In Broadcasting /Class of 1991

Fuldheim-a member of the inaugural class of the CAB Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting, was born in Passaic, New Jersey and spent her childhood in Milwaukee. Prior to her working in broadcasting, she was an elementary school teacher. It was during the 20’s, after her first marriage, that she moved to Cleveland where she began her theatrical, lecturing and broadcasting careers. She started in radio hosting a biography program for WTAM, and eventually the ABC Radio network, where she was their first female commentator. Fuldheim was then approached by the Scripps-Howard flagship, the Cleveland Press, about a role in journalism. Despite a lack of experience in the field, she was soon travelling the world conducting interviews including both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler prior to World War II.

Dorothy’s television career began at the age of 54 when she joined the staff of WEWS-TV, also owned by Scripps –Howard in 1947. At the time it was the only television station between New York and Chicago. She traveled widely to cover a variety of news stories and was regarded a broadcaster of national importance and influence.

In 1959, Fuldheim began to formulate her own newscast. Her show was centered on her interviews, a general overview of the news, and her commentaries (during which the very opinionated Fuldheim frequently inserted her own opinions about the stories). Fuldheim was the first women in the United States to have her own television news analysis program. While the show consisted primarily of news analysis, it also included commentary, book reviews and interviews. Dorothy interviewed a number of diverse persons including the Duke of Windsor, Helen Keller, Barbara Walters and Martin Luther King Jr.

Fuldheim, recognizable for her fiery red hair, was well known for her sometimes controversial opinions. She was not shy about supporting unpopular causes, nor in voicing her opposition if she disagreed with a guest. On one program, she interviewed 1960s activist Jerry Rubin about his book Do It. In the interview, Jerry Rubin started to quiz Fuldheim, asking her if she drank. Fuldheim said, "I have the damn best liver in Cleveland." He then took a picture of a nude woman and showed it to her. Fuldheim responded by asking Rubin, "How is [the photo] germane to the topic?" He then referred to the police as "pigs" and offended Fuldheim, who replied, "I've got a shock for you. Some of my friends are policemen". Rubin then muttered "Well, I've got a shock for you. I'm good friends with the Black Panthers." At which point, Fuldheim threw his book and kicked Rubin off the set saying "Out! Stop the interview" as the cameras rolled.

In 1980, Fuldheim was inducted in the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame[5] and went on to cover major 1980s events: She traveled to London to cover the 1981 royal wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, the funeral of assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and to Northern Ireland to interview the family of IRA activist/hunger striker Bobby Sands.

“This is a youth-oriented society, and the joke is on them because youth is a disease from which we all recover”.

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