Family, Friends Remember Hal Jackson At Funeral
Long-time radio disc jockey Hal Jackson, who was a pioneer for African-Americans in the field of radio broadcasting, was giving a rousing tribute at his funeral Thursday. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
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Hundreds remembered Hal Jackson at his funeral Thursday as a man who used his voice to break down racial barriers.
"For more than three-quarters of a century, he served as a voice of our community both on the air and behind the scenes," said former New York City mayor David Dinkins.
"He also was one of the first black sports announcers," said Dr. Roscoe Brown, a Tuskegee Airman. "He used to announce the Negro League games."
Jackson spent the bulk of his career at Inner City Broadcasting where he hosted "Sunday Morning Classics" on WBLS. Those who knew the entrepreneur best eulogized him as the Godfather of Black Radio.
"It becomes an ongoing inspiration to any of us who are following in his footsteps to be able to lift others who are coming behind us," said radio host Gary Byrd.
Grammy award winner Alicia Keys was one of a string of entertainers who paid tribute to the radio legend.
Valerie Simpson and Alyson Williams also performed.
Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a eulogy that praised Hal Jackson's determination.
"When he started, we were begging for airtime," Sharpton said. "When he ended, we were entrepreneurs."
The Broadcasting Hall of Famer is survived by his wife, long-time radio co-host Debi Jackson, and four children.
Hal Jackson was 97 years old.