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Rupert "Bob" Strickland (1936 — September 26, 2008) was an American television journallist who established a mentoring program for minority broadcasters.

Born Rupert Strickland in Rainbow City, Panama Canal Zone, he began his broadcasting career there as a radio announcer in 1952, then became a staff writer at the now-defunct Panama American newspaper.

In 1956, Strickland joined the United States Air Force and worked at base radio and television stations in Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. He held a variety of news positions and was a faculty member at the Defense Information School in Indianapolis. While there, he graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.

He rose to the rank of chief master sergeant and was assistant to the commander of the American Forces Radio and Television Services before retiring from the military in 1976. That same year, he received a master's degree in public administration from George Washington University.

Strickland began working WUSA-TV (then WTOP-TV9) on weekends in 1969, while still assigned to Andrews Air Force Base. His contacts from the Air Force and the federal government proved invaluable for the local station, as did his ability to speak Spanish.[1]

Strickland joined the station in 1969 as a general assignment reporter, covering such stories as the 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege and the FBI's 1990 arrest of then-Mayor Marion Barry on drug charges.[2]

His ability to ad-lib also came in handy when WUSA broadcast the expletive-ridden tape of DC Mayor Marion Barry's 1990 arrest during an FBI sting operation at the old Vista Hotel. As Washington Post television critic Tom Shales wrote in 1990, the station "made a big production out of deleting the expletives, so much so that the station aired the tape with no sound at all when it first came in through the pool feed." "Poor Bob Strickland, the one reporter at the station who had seen the tape earlier (he wouldn't say how), had to narrate for several long minutes as viewers saw the slightly ghostly figures of Barry and [model Rasheeda] Moore moving around the room."[1]

He also covered the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 and the Mount Pleasant riots in 1991.

He co-founded with the late ABC broadcaster Max Robinson a mentoring program for aspiring minority journalists, which launched numerous broadcasters on their careers.

A board member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area, he started a golf and tennis tournament that raised thousand of dollars for the organization. He was named to the Defense Information School's Hall of Fame in 1994. He also won three local Emmys for reports on fraudulent charities, shortages of ambulances and paramedics, and the lack of medical services in the Washington area.[1]

He is survived by his wife of six years, Janet Payne Strickland of Washington, DC

External links

References

  1. ^ a b c Sullivan, Patricia (2008-10-04). "TV Reporter Bob Strickland; Covered Barry Arrest, Riots". p. B6. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/03/AR2008100303310.html. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  2. ^ http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/10/04/Longtime_DC_reporter_Bob_Strickland_dies/UPI-95601223149286/ Retrieved 2008-10-04
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