Gil Noble ( February 22, 1932- April 5, 2012) was an American television reporter and interviewer born in Harlem, NY.He was the producer and host of New York City television station WABC-TV’s weekly, Like It Is, originally co-hosted with Melba Tolliver. The program focused primarily on issues concerning African Americans and those within the African diaspora.
Noble joined WABC in July 1967 as a reporter, and starting in January 1968 became an anchor of its Saturday and Sunday night newscasts. He became host of Like It Is a few months prior to the rebranding of the station’s newscasts as Eyewitness News in November 1968. In addition, he was an occasional interviewer on some of WABC’s other public affairs shows, such as Eyewitness Exclusive. From 1986 on, Noble concentrated exclusively on Like It Is. Noble also created documentaries on such topics as W. E. B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Decade of Struggle, Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Jack Johnson, Charlie Parker and Essay on Drugs. In 1977, he wrote, directed and produced the first documentary on Paul Robeson, entitled The Tallest Tree in Our Forest.
In 1973, Noble reported (for local TV station WABC channel 7) on the first mobile cellular phone invented by Marty Cooper from the NY Hilton in New York. He won seven Emmy Awards. In 1981, he wrote an autobiography, Black is the Color of My TV Tube. He was a supporter of The Jazz Foundation of America, hosting the 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007 “A Great Night in Harlem” Concert/Benefit for The Jazz Foundation to support The Musicians Emergency Fund. He is also a member of the Board of Directors. Noble was the recipient of more than 650 community awards, numerous industry awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, and five honorary doctorates.
Sadly, Noble’s acclaimed career came to an end in July 2011 after he suffered a devastating stroke.
The family will announce plans for a funeral service when arrangements are confirmed. They ask that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Gil Noble Archives, P.O. Box 43138, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043. Proceeds will be used to preserve the archives so that Noble’s mission of educating the community about its culture and history will continue.