COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Trailblazer, crusher of glass ceilings, and esteemed journalist Ann B. Walker celebrated her 99th birthday in Wolfe Park Tuesday.
Walker has made history multiple times during her life: While at NBC4, she was the first woman broadcaster to report on the Ohio legislature and later served as the station’s and city’s first woman in broadcast management. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to a role in the White House Public Affairs Office — making her Franklin County’s first Black woman to receive a presidential appointment.
Her reputation as an accomplished newswoman predates her time at NBC4. Walker started as a journalist for the Ohio Sentinel, also serving as an editor there and author of the popular column, “Ann Walker’s Party Line.” She served in multiple roles at Columbus’ WVKO-AM radio station, including as an on-air host of radio shows.
Some of Walker’s best-known interviewees include Martin Luther King Jr., political activist Angela Davis and then-Democratic presidential candidate Carter.
In 2021, the city of Columbus dedicated a plaza to Walker in the King-Lincoln Bronzeville neighborhood. She is also featured on the Long Street Cultural Wall.