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This Day in Georgia History

March 31, 1999

Charlayne Hunter-Gault Won Second Peabody Award

University of Georgia graduate Charlayne Hunter-Gault was awarded a George Foster Peabody Award - her second. Stationed in Africa, Hunter-Gault chief correspondent in Africa for National Public Radio at that time, was recognized for “excellence in international reporting, from an undercovered and often misunderstood region of the world.” Born Feb. 27, 1942 in Due West, S.C., she and her mother soon moved to Covington, Ga., while her father - a U.S. Army chaplain - was on active duty. In 1951, her father joined the family in a move to Atlanta. Ten years later, Charlayne Hunter joined Hamilton Holmes as the first black students to attend the University of Georgia. In 1963, she graduated with a degree in journalism, thus launching a long career in journalism that would include ten years with the New York Times, a long association with PBS’s “MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” and an assignment covering Africa for NPR. Hunter-Gault won her first Peabody Award for her coverage of apartheid in South Africa. Other recognitions include two Emmys, 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, and the American Women in Radio and Television Award. In 1988, Charlayne Hunter-Gault became the first African America to deliver the commencement address at her alma mater.