Pioneering Broadcast Journalist Edie Huggins Has Died
(For Immediate Release)
Edie Huggins, who began her television career at WCAU-TV now NBC 10) in 1966 as a feature reporter on the BIG NEWS TEAM WITH JOHN FACENDA and became one of Philadelphia’s most respected and celebrated television personalities during her 42-year career, has died after a hard fought, lengthy illness.
“In her uniquely dignified way, Edie helped open the doors and blazed the trail that made it possible for so many of us to be here,” said NBC 10 Vice President of News Chris Blackman. “Personally, I will always appreciate her support … checking in on me whenever I had a rough day. Although she’ll no longer be in our newsroom, she’ll remain in our hearts.”
Edie Huggins was a trailblazer in the industry and had been a mentor to a generation of Philadelphia broadcasters. She was the first African-American woman to report on the air in Philadelphia. Her versatile career included anchoring and co-anchoring the news, interviewing scores of personalities and newsmakers, reporting on countless news stories, and presenting memorable investigative series on a variety of subjects. In the early 1970′s she joined Herb Clarke to co-host “What’s Happening,” a midday news program. In the mid-70′s, she hosted “Morningside,” a daily one-hour live magazine show featuring interviews with celebrities and politicians, along with segments on health, finance and entertainment.
Edie accomplished these feats and met many more of her goals while raising two children, as a single parent.
Edie dedicated much of her professional life to community service and to being a strong advocate for many causes, as she served on many boards throughout the region. She is the recipient of this year’s prestigious board of Governor’s Award from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). Also, in 2008, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) honored her with a lifetime achievement award. In 2006, Philadelphia City council declared March 30th “Edie Huggins Day” and adopted a resolution to honor her more than 40 years of accurate news reporting and her dedication to the City of Philadelphia. She received the 2006 Hall of Fame Award from AFTRA. Giving back to the community, Edie Huggins created “Huggins’ Hero” report series, a weekly segment profiling the heroic life of an ordinary person doing an extraordinary deed.
She was one of the founding members of the National Association of Black Journalists, an organization that honored her in 2005. In November 2002, Huggins was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame, and she was chosen by the Urban League of Philadelphia as one of the “Outstanding African-American Philadelphians of the 20th Century. “She was honored by the Philadelphia Chapter of American Women in Radio & Television as “Communicator of the Year” in 1993.
A native of St. Joseph, Missouri, Edie Huggins graduated cum laude from the State University of New York with a bachelor’s degree in Science. After graduation, she worked at both Bellevue and Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospitals in New York City as a registered nurse. At the same time, she made national headlines by doubling as an actress and an unofficial consultant for the NBC daytime drama, “The Doctors.” She also appeared on “The Edge of Night” and “Love of Life,” both produced by CBS Television. Edie Huggins was first cast in a feature film with Sammy Davis Jr., “A Man Called Adam”. As of late, she was cast in a starring role of an independent movie titled “So Big.” which debuted at the International House in Philadelphia.
Edie Huggins was a committed member of Bright Hope Baptist church, where she initiated a full registered nursing scholarship for young women that will continue in her legacy.
She is survived by her two devoted adult children, Hastings Edward, a Complex Engagement Manager with IBM and a daughter, Laurie Linn, a National Television Producer in Los Angeles and a Marketing Specialist for Broadcast Advertising in Baltimore and Philadelphia.