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Alabama TV Trailblazer Norman Lumpkin Dies

Norman Lumpkin, the first African-American TV reporter in Montgomery, AL, has died.

According to WSFA, one of Lumpkin’s first assignments when he started at the NBC affiliate in 1969 was to cover then Governor George Wallace‘s 1970 re-election campaign.

Despite the racial tension of the era, in which he was purposefully given false information by some in order to discredit his work, Norman pushed on and ultimately gained the respect of politicians and viewers for his work. Wallace, who was a staunch segregationist, made sure Norman was invited to each campaign event.

Lumpkin left WSFA in the 1990s to work as news director at the city’s ABC affiliate WNCF. He then went on to work as public relations director for the Alabama Highway Department.

“I learned a lot from Norman – not just about race, politics and the TV news business – but about respecting people regardless of their station in life,” former WSFA anchor Bob Howell told WSFA. “Each of us who knew or worked with him owes him a great debt of gratitude.”

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