Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Born Charlayne Hunter
February 27, 1942(1942-02-27)
Due West, South Carolina, USA
Education University of Georgia (BAJ)
Wayne State University
Washington University in St. Louis
Occupation Journalist
Spouse(s) Ronald T. Gault (m. 1971)
Walter L. Stovall (m. 1963, div. 1971)
Children Susan Stovall, Chuma Gault
Notable credit(s) The New York Times
The New Yorker

Charlayne Hunter-Gault (born 27 February 1942) is an American journalist and former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, and the Public Broadcasting Service.

In 1961, Athens, Georgia witnessed part of the civil rights movement when Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes became the first two African American students to enroll in the University of Georgia. Upon her graduation in 1963, she became the university's first black graduate.

In 1967, she joined the investigative news team at WRC-TV, Washington, D.C., and also anchored the local evening news. In 1968, Charlayne joined The New York Times as a metropolitan reporter specializing in coverage of the urban African American community. She joined The MacNeil/Lehrer Report in 1978 as a correspondent, and became The NewsHour's national correspondent in 1983. She left The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer in June 1997. She worked in Johannesburg, South Africa as National Public Radio's chief correspondent in Africa from 1997 to 1999. Hunter-Gault recently left her post as CNN's Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent, which she had held since 1999.

During her association with The NewsHour, Hunter-Gault has won additional awards: two Emmys, and a Peabody for excellence in broadcast journalism for her work on Apartheid's People, a NewsHour series on South Africa. She also received the 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists; the 1990 Sidney Hillman Award; the Good Housekeeping Broadcast Personality of the Year Award; the American Women in Radio and Television Award; and two awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for excellence in local programming.

Hunter-Gault is author of In My Place (1992), a memoir about her experiences at the University of Georgia. She currently lives in Massachusetts[1] and is working on a first-person memoir detailing the struggle of African Americans in the 1960s.


Personal life

Alberta Charlayne Hunter was born in Due West, South Carolina, daughter of Charles S.H. Hunter, Col., U.S. Army, a regimental chaplain, and his wife, the former Althea Brown.[1]

Shortly before she graduated from the University of Georgia, Hunter married a white fellow classmate, Walter L. Stovall, the writer son of a chicken-feed manufacturer.[2][3] The couple were first married in March 1963 and then remarried in Detroit, Michigan, on 8 June 1963, because they believed the first ceremony might be considered invalid as well as criminal, based on the laws of the unidentified state in which they had been married.[2] Once the marriage was revealed, the governor of Georgia called it "a shame and a disgrace", while Georgia's attorney general made public statements about prosecuting the mixed-race couple under Georgia law.[4][5][6] News reports quoted the parents of both bride and groom as being against the marriage, for reasons of race.[7] Years later, after the couple's 1972 divorce, Hunter-Gault gave a speech at the university, in which she praised Stovall, whom, she said, "unhesitatingly jumped into my boat with me. He gave up going to movies because he knew I couldn't get a seat in the segregated theaters. He gave up going to the Varsity because he knew they would not serve me .... We married, despite the uproar we knew it would cause, because we loved each other." Shortly after their marriage, Stovall was quoted as saying, "We are two young people who found ourselves in love and did what we feel is required of people when they are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together. We got married."[3] The couple had one daughter, Susan Stovall, a singer (born December 1963).[8]

In 1971 Hunter married Ronald T. Gault, an African American businessman who was then a program officer for the Ford Foundation; he is now an investment banker and consultant.[4][9][5][6] They have one son, Chuma Gault, an actor (born 1972).[7]


  • Dare to Struggle... Dare to Win (1999)
  • Globalization & Human Rights (1998)
  • Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television (1993)


  • "The Talk of the Town: Notes and Comment" The New Yorker 60/52 (11 February 1985): 28-29. Talk piece about Darrell Cabey, shot by Bernhard Goetz.


  1. ^ John H. Britton, "Charlayne's Secret Marriage to White Man", Jet, 19 September 1963, pages 18-25
  2. ^ Randall Kennedy, Interracial Intimacies (Random House, 2003), pages 100
  3. ^ John H. Britton, "Charlayne's Secret Marriage to White Man", Jet, 19 September 1963, pages 18-25
  4. ^ Randall Kennedy, Interracial Intimacies (Random House, 2003), pages 100
  5. ^ Art Sears Jr., "Lawyer Asks to Defend Hunter's Mixed Race Marriage in Georgia Court", Jet, 19 September 1963, pages 26 and 27
  6. ^ John H. Britton, "Charlayne's Secret Marriage to White Man", Jet, 19 September 1963, pages 18-25
  7. ^ John H. Britton, "Charlayne's Secret Marriage to White Man", Jet, 19 September 1963, pages 18-25
  8. ^ Randall Kennedy, Interracial Intimacies (Random House, 2003), pages 100 and 101
  9. ^ "Whatever Happened to Charlayne Hunter?", Ebony, July 1972, page 138

External links

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