Bob Teague, one of New York City’s first black television journalists, died Thursday of complications of T-cell lymphoma. He was 84.
Teague joined NBC-owned WNBC in 1963 and worked as a producer, reporter and anchor for more than 30 years. The New York Times reports Teague was often sent to minority neighborhoods to report on racial tension during the 1960s, later becoming a principal correspondent for “Harlem: Test for the North,” a network show that examined riots in that neighborhood.
Teague, who was critical of the news business later in his career, was a trailblazer for the first black television journalists, the Times reports:
The changing public response to Mr. Teague and others in the first wave of black television journalists was suggested in a letter he received that he described in an article in The New York Times Magazine.
“When you first began broadcasting the news on television, I watched you every night, but I realize now, years later, that I was so conscious of the fact that you were black that I didn’t hear a word you said about the news,” it read.
“Now, I am happy to say, I still watch you every night, but only because you are a damn good newscaster.”
“Bob Teague was a broadcast pioneer with a passion for news and for serving his New York viewers,” WNBC said in a statement. “We were saddened to hear of his passing and send our most sincere condolences to his wife and the entire Teague family.”