NEW YORK, April 15, CMC – Political luminaries and movie stars were among hundreds who bade farewell on Friday night to pioneering television broadcaster of Jamaican parentage, Gil Noble.
Noble died on April 5, of complications of a stroke he suffered last summer, at a Wayne New Jersey hospital He was 80.
Noble, who was born in Harlem, hosted New York WABC Television’s award-winning, public affairs program, “Like It Is” – one of the longest-running public affairs programs in the United States. The program was solely dedicated to showcasing black leadership and the African, Caribbean-American experience.
Tears flowed at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, as Noble was remembered as a groundbreaking newsman with an “unquenchable thirst for the truth.”
“We’ve lost yet another of the heroes of our community,” former New York City mayor David Dinkins told about 300 mourners. “The world is a better place because he was here.”
Actor Danny Glover said he was moved to tears by a one of Noble’s programs that featured a documentary on slain civil rights leader, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Gil Noble was the real deal,” he said. “There wasn’t a funny bone in his body.”
“He had something that a lot of journalists never acquire and that’s an unquenchable thirst for the truth,” said WABC-TV President Dave Davis.
“Gil Noble was not here to keep us comfortable; he was here to make us think,” he said.
Minister Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader, said Noble “taught us the meaning of life.
“Gil Noble’s mark on history is his unequal service to his people using whatever ABC gave him,” he said. “He never sold out who he was. He was a brother with enormous integrity.”
“Brother, I miss you,” said Brooklyn, New York, Councilman Charles Barrown, as tears streamed his cheeks. “My heart is heavy.”
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that she was truly saddened by Noble’s death.
“Gil Noble was a pioneer in journalism who broke down many barriers for African Americans in the field,” said Clarke, who represents the largely Caribbean 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn.
“He truly left a lasting legacy as a longtime reporter, host and anchor at WABC-TV,” she added.
Clarke noted that Noble faced that Noble” faced incredible pressure from the media establishment as one of the few African American reporters on mainstream television in the late 60s.”
But, despite the burden placed on his shoulders, the congresswoman said he “surpassed expectations again and again, quickly becoming a respected leader in the field.