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Hal Jackson Dies at 96

Hal Jackson

Radio pioneer Harold "Hal" Jackson, a staple of New York radio, has died at 93. 

Jackson began his career in Washington, D.C. as the first African American play-by-play sports announcer. He moved to New York in the 1950s where he hosted three different radio shows, broadcasting a mix of music and conversation, including jazz and celebrities. Jackson later co-founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, one of the first broadcasting companies wholly owned by African-Americans. The company acquired WBLS, which pioneered the urban contemporary format. Jackson continued to host a program each week on WBLS.

In 1995, Jackson became the first African-American to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg described Jackson as a "legend." "Hal was not only the first African-American voice on network radio or the first African-American play-by-play sports announcer, but an iconic legend who — during the Civil Rights movement — gave voice to the many who simply did not have one."

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