BOB TEAGUE (AP Photo/WNBC-TV)
by Karen Matthews
NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Teague, a former news anchor, reporter and producer and one of New York City’s first Black television journalists, has died. He was 84.
Teague, who lived in Monmouth Junction, N.J., died Thursday, WNBC said. His widow, Jan, told The New York Times that he suffered from T-cell lymphoma.
Teague was a veteran newspaper reporter who had worked at The Milwaukee Journal and The New York Times when he joined New York’s NBC affiliate in 1963.
At WNBC, he became a correspondent for “Harlem: Test for the North,” an hourlong program started after riots broke out in the area. He also covered other minority communities during the tumultuous 1960s.
“They felt black reporters would be invulnerable in a riot,” Teague said in a 1981 interview.
Teague often subbed on NBC network news and sports programs, but he was critical of the industry that employed him.
“How can you make the decisions about your lives, your family, your business if what you are getting is information about what the beautiful people are doing?” Teague wrote in a 1982 book, “Live and Off-Color: News Biz.”
He retired from WNBC in 1991.
Teague was born in Milwaukee and was a star football player at the University of Wisconsin. According to the Times, he passed up offers from four professional football teams to become a reporter for the Journal.
Teague was the author of several other books, including “Letters to a Black Boy,” addressed to his then-1-year-old son. He wrote three works of children’s fiction with titles such as “Agent K-Thirteen the Super-Spy.”
WNBC anchor Chuck Scarborough said Teague was “driven to excel and tireless in his pursuit of the truth.”
“He was also a valuable mentor to those of us who followed in his footsteps,” Scarborough said. “Bob’s achievements and integrity stand as an example for us all.”
WNBC praised Teague in a statement as “a broadcast pioneer with a passion for news and for serving his New York viewers.”