This Day in History – December 7, 1940

Carole Simpson is born in Chicago, Illinois


On this day in 1940, Carole Simpson was born in Chicago, Illinois.

In elementary school, she developed an interest in drama, taking acting lessons and learning to project her voice for television and radio. In 1958, Simpson graduated high school and was admitted to the University of Illinois. During summer breaks, she worked for a community newspaper, gaining her first media experience. She graduated with her B.A. in journalism in 1958.

After graduating, Simpson took a position as a journalism instructor at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. Additionally, she taught journalism courses at Northwestern University. She taught for two years, after which she became a graduate student at the University of Iowa.

In 1965, Simpson returned to Chicago, where she began working with WCFL Radio. She was the first woman to broadcast news in the history of the city. Three years later, she switched stations and began working as an anchor for Chicago’s WBBM Radio.


While working with WBBM, Simpson covered the Civil Rights Movement as well as the controversial Chisago Seven trial. In 1982, she took a position with ABC News, where she worked as a correspondent.

Simpson has covered several significant stories throughout the years, including the fall of Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippine Islands’ president; the release from prison of Nelson Mandela; the controversial Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings; the impeachment of President Bill Clinton; and the Oklahoma bombing.

In 2003, she ended her career as a news anchor and instead became the ambassador for the network, a role that involved encouraging students to become involved in the changing media landscape. Simpson has established six scholarships for minorities and women majoring in journalism.

Simpson became Leader in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts in 2007.


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