Don Cornelius was a giant in the field of broadcasting and now there is further proof.
The 10th annual event known as the "Giants of Broadcasting," has announced the first nine professionals who will be recognized in 2012.
The honor is for their contributions to television and radio in the last half-century. According to a release, "The distinguished honorees join 140 'Giants of Broadcasting' who have been honored by the library since 2003." This is a yearly event sponsored by the Library of American Broadcasting,
The event celebrates distinguished leadership or performance in television and radio and an event is slated for October 18 in New York’s Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Cornelius was best known as the creator, host and producer of the nationally syndicated "Soul Train" dance/music franchise from 1971 to 1993. He was born in Chicago’s South Side, joined the United States Marines after high school and served 18 months in Korea. His career took many turns in the next years, including a stint with the Chicago police department. It was "Soul Train" that made him a household name. The show introduced many African-American musicians - among them James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson - to a larger audience. Spike Lee described the program as an “urban music time capsule.” In 2008, Cornelius sold the show to MadVision Entertainment. He died by suicide in February of this year. The bio from the release notes this about Cornelius: "Along with his deep voice he was best known for the catchphrase used to close the show. “And you can bet your last money, it’s all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”
Other honorees:Norman Lear - He was the writer-producer responsible for "All in the Family," "Maude," "The Jeffersons," "Sanford and Son" and a number of major hits that revolutionized television programming.
George Beasley - He is the chairman, CEO and founder of Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. and one of the earliest adopters of HD Radio digital technology.
Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer - The journalistic pair on PBS who eventually anchored the first one-hour evening news broadcast in the U.S. and forged a career doing the rare thing. In 1975 they debuted a half-hour nightly news broadcast, The "MacNeil/Lehrer Report", which covered a single issue each night. That became the "MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour" eight years later, and the "NewsHour" with Jim Lehrer after MacNeil retired in 1995.
Erica Farber - She was credited with being the first woman to become general manager of a major-market radio station (RKO’s WROR-FM Boston in 1976, a post that led to the vice presidency-general managership of WXLO-FM New York).
Andy Rooney - He was foremost a writer, and became most famous for his closings on "60 Minutes" on CBS (“A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney”), which featured his observations on daily life and the passing parade.
Sir Howard Stringer - The Welshman whose career has included the presidencies of CBS News and CBS Inc. and is now chairman of the board of Sony Corporation. Born in Cardiff, he came to the U.S. in 1965.
Ted Turner - He bought UHF television station WTBS in Atlanta and turned it into cable superstation TBS. Used satellite to transmit to cable systems nationwide. Started CNN as the first 24-hour news network, revolutionizing news media. Won the America’s Cup in 1977. Bought the Atlanta Braves and Hawks to beef up programming. And so much more, the release stated.
The library has been honoring leaders in the broadcasting industry annually since 2003 — its list of "Giants" will now exceed 149. Previous honorees include industry founders Guglielmo Marconi, David Sarnoff of RCA and NBC, William S. Paley and Frank Stanton of CBS, Leonard Goldenson of ABC, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Philo Farnsworth, H. V. Kaltenborn, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Arthur Godfrey, Paul Harvey, Charlie Rose, Ken Burns, Johnny Carson, Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Christiane Amanpour, Lowry Mays and Tim Russert.