WHEN A HERO AIN’T NOTHING BUT A SANDWICH IN BLACK AMERICA!
While I was making children first, people around me were making money first and going to the bank by any means necessary–My Bad!
I know exactly where I was when our Prince of Peace Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. I was standing on the corner of 9th and U streets NW with my co-worker the late Green Bay Packer great Willie Wood on that fateful April 4th day in 1968. In the 60s and 70s I worked with youth gangs and with at-risk children in the NW Cardozo/Shaw corridor of Washington, DC. Willie would work as a teacher in the NFL off season before he joined the DC recreation Department’s Roving Leader Program. The riots almost destroyed our town.
Children were coming up missing and being murdered in Atlanta, Georgia. I celebrated my birthday at the Foxtrappe to raise money to help search for the killer or killers. TV news anchors Maureen Bunyan, Lark McCathy and DJ Donnie Simpson were in attendance.
During the 1968 riots little children were seen in the streets taking home the booty–cops had taken the day off.
I met Muhammad Ali in 1967 on the campus of Howard University and we became life-time friends. After his speech to the students I took him on a tour of the Georgia Avenue NW corridor which led us to 7th T Street, NW. The common denominator–we both loved children.
The No. 1 theme song in Black America in 2020 is still “WE SHALL OVERCOME.” This is 60+ years after our Prince of Peace Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis,Tennessee on April 4, 1968. President Lyndon Johnson would convene a panel to study urban unrest led by the Governor of Illinois, Otto Kerner. The final analysis, the “Kerner Report” said, “We are headed for two Americas, One Black and One White!” Here we are in 2020 just as the report predicted–no one was listening.
In 1969 I encountered my old friend President Richard Nixon on that same NW 7th street corridor while he was inspecting the riot area. His Secret Service detail would not let me anywhere near him and one suggested that I write the President a letter and I did.
Coincident, I will never know, but the Nixon encounter would lead me to a Presidential appointment. In the late 50s I caddied for him on the weekends at the all-white exclusive Burning Golf Course in Bethesda, Maryland a suburb of Washington, DC. The appointment would lead to a position on the Presiident’s Council on Physica Fitness & Sports and finally I switched jobs to the Department of Defense under the leadership Melvin Laird in November 1969.
In 1970 I found the first ever half-Way House for juvenile deliquents on a Military Installation on Bolling Air Force Base in SE DC. The in-house residents were from the overcrowded facilities in DC.
In 1972 with the blessings of my mentor radio and television legend Ralph ‘Petey’ Greene I became the first black to host and produce his own radio sports talk show in Washington, DC. “Inside Sports” would change the way we talked and reported sports in America. The show was the first ever to blend sports and politics in a talk radio format. The show was heard on W-O-O-K Radio on the 1340 AM dial the worst signal in broadcast media. The station was own by Richard Eaton and was called the United Broadcasting Company. It had a black format but was white own (little has changed).
W-O-O-K would help lay the foundation for my success in broadcast media. Bud Myers (GM), Cliff Holland (Community Relations), on air personalities, John “Turk” Edwards, Ernie Fields, Carl Furgerson, and Ralph Colbert all help make my transition smooth and without a hitch–we were family. The first legend to be a guest host on my show was NBA Coach Red Auerbach and his lovely wife Dotie.
Dotie and Red are both taken by surprise by my guest, tennis legend Jimmy Connors via telephone.
My broadcast odyssey would take me from W-O-O-K radio to NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4 in 1975. It was here I would become the first Black to host and produce my own television sports special in prime time. My special guest was Muhammad Ali.
I had no clue this broadcast odyssey would lead to over 20 potenial millionaires appearing on my sports talk show or being assisted by my non-profit organization Kids In Trouble before their 15 minutes of fame.
I remember in the late 70s as I became an influential radio personality in the Nation’s Capitol, the familiar cry was “Brother Harold can you help me please!” Some familiar names of some of those seeking support or vying for time on my popular talk show reads like a Who’s Who.
Former kids in trouble benefactors were little Alfred and his mother Cathy Hughes. When Cathy was working as receptionist for W-H-U-R Radio and struggling as a single parent she asked me to be a Big Brother to her father-less child little Afred. Former boy friend and kid in trouble benefactor, Jeff Majors and his Harp were also kicked to the curb. Networth $460 million.
Adrian Dantley played 15 years in the NBA, I contacted his mother Virginia in 1981 that I had inside information that Adrian’s agent David Fark was using money out his account to invest in his own endeavors and not his. She was a non-believer. His new wife Dinitri decided to do an audit, she discovered that millions of dollars went unaccounted. Dantley sued in court, but for some reason decided to settle out of court with a non-disclosure clause (he also represented Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Morning, John Lucas, etc)! It is little wonder that Dantley can now be seen working as a school crossing guard. In 2020 his networth is $1.5 million dollars and Falks networth is $50 million!! Several years ago I was walking down Georgia Avenue in NW DC in the rain. A Rolls Royce pulled over to the curb, It was Adrian Dantley offering me a ride. I said, “No thanks”, I remembered, he had forgotten how to say, ‘thank you’. I would rather get soaking wet!
DC Superior Court Judges Luke Moore, Eugene Hamilton and Harry Alexander give NBA players Larry Wright, Adrian Dantley and Kermit Washington “Kids In Trouble Citizenship Awards” during a charity basketball game at Georgetown University.
Then along comes John, better known as John Thompson, Jr., basketball coach at Georgetown Unversity. He was the first black to win a NCAA Division One Basketball Championship. I knew him when he was attending my alma mater Brown Middle School in NE DC. There was a popular basketball court directly across the street from the school. Players would come from all over the city to play. One evening I chose Big John to play on my team, I needed a rebounder.
For some reason Big John became little John and started to take jumpshots. I found myself rebouding the ball–that was a no-no. I was the shooter and he was suppose to be the rebounder. I banished him from the court. He had to sit on ‘The Hill’ until Sandy Freeman or Bob ‘Batman’ Grier his mentor shown up.
When he was named the first black coach at Georgetown University and had trouble winning a game his first couple of years, I gave him five-minutes on Inside Sports every Monday evening to promo and support his team. He repaid me by selling me out to Nike Shoes. In 1978 I was the first ever Nike rep in the DMV. I approached John about becoming my first college client, he said, “Lets talk tomorrow”, tomorrow became today. He went behind my back and called Nike and made his own shoe deal. He later named someone outside of-our community to be his play-by- play voice (W-O-O-K Radio) for Georgetown basketball. He named someone other than Ron Sutton, or Greg Mosso of W-H-U-R Radio. He claimed he confronted DC drug czar Rayfield Edmonds, telling him to back off of hanging out with his players.
The Police Chief was Maurice Turner a native Washingtonian during those trying times with drugs in this town. DC was then known as “Chocolate City.” I met with Maurice after the so called confrontation and he said, “Big John was calling me every 15 minutes to check to see if I had his back, he was scared to death, I convinced him he was never out of our sight.” His wife Gwen is one of the nicest people that I know and he cheated on her and his best friend an assistant coach Bob Grier. Bob was engaged to Mary Finley the acedemic advisor for the team when he took her to Las Vegas and everything they did in Las Vegas didn’t stay in Las Vegas. During the divorce proceedings he was threatening his wife hiding behind trees outside of her residence.
She was frighten and didn’t know what to do and finally her lawyer called me for some advice. Mrs. Thompson took Big John to the hoop and slammed dunked on him and they settled out of court. After the settlement she didn’t forget Kids In Trouble and made a substantial donation to the program. Georgetown rewarded John with a building bearing his name on campus proving crime does pay.
Merlin Wilson and his Georgetown teammates help serve the children at my Kids In Trouble annual Christmas toy party at the Twin-Bridges Marriot Hotel in Alington, Virginia. This was before Big John became a race-baiting intimidator among white college coaches. How soon we forget! Networth: $5 million dollars.
Nike store manager Laura Somerset and I present Nike shoes and apparel to Congressman Walter Fauntroy in his DC office.
FAMILIAR NAMES OF BENEFACTORS OF KIT & INSIDE SPORTS: MILLIONAIRES WHO FORGOT (THEIR NETWORTH)
CATHY & ALFRED (URBAN ONE RADIO & TV) $460 MILLION
GEORGE FOREMAN (BOXER) $300 MILLION
DON KING (DON KING PRODUCTIONS) $150 MILLION
GRANT HILL (NBA) $250 MILLION
SUGAR RAY LEONARD (BOXER) $120 MILLION
JIM BROWN (NFL) $50 MILLION DOLLARS
JAIR LYNCH (OLYMPIC GYMNAST) $13 MILLION
TONY PAIGE (NFL) $15 MILLION DOLLARS
TIM BAYLOR (MORGAN/NFL) $25 MILLION
BILL RHODEN $8 MILLION (MORGAN STATE/NY TIMES)
MAUREEN BUNYAN (TV ANCHOR) $10 MILLION
JAMES BROWN (CBS/NFL) $10 MILLION
OLDEN POLYNIECE (NBA) $10 MILLION
MICHAEL WILBON (ESPN) $16 MILLION
PAUL BERRY (TV ANCHOR) $16 MILLION
DAVE BING (NBA) $5 MILLION
DONNIE SIMPSON (BET) $5 MILLION
JOHN THOMPSON (GT BASKETBALL) $3 MILLION
VIRGINIA ALI (BEN’S CHILI BOWL) $2 MILLION
DAVE ALDRIDGE (ESPN, TNT) $1.5- MILLION
ADRIAN DANTLEY (NBA) $1.5 MILLION
ROMADE BAINE 1.5 MILLION
LARRY FITZGERALD, SR (ESPN) $10 MILLION
TRACY JACKSON (NBA) 1.5 MILLION
KEVIN BLACKISTONE (ESPN) $100,000-ONE MILLION DOLLARS
DOUG WILLIAMS NFL / $100,000-ONE MILLION
CALVIN HILL NFL / $100,000-ONE MILLION DOLLARS
WILLIE WOOD NFL HALL OF FAME PLAYER AND PIONEER DIED IN FEBRUARY HIS NETWORTH AT THE TIME OF HIS PASSING–DEAD BROKE!
IF THERE IS A MIS-CALCULATION MY TELEPHONE NUMBER IS 240-334-7174
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTWMUhYG0Y8/ Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen speaks for Stephan A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, James Brown, Kevin Blackistone, and on and on! Some liars-liars with their pants on fire meet Michael Wilbon and James Brown