Vernon Odom's broadcasting experience dates back to the Martin Luther King assassination, when Vernon was a radio reporter in Atlanta. From there, he covered various phases of the civil rights movement in the south, and the early political campaigns of such eventual national figures as Jimmy Carter, Andrew Young, Julian Bond and Maynard Jackson.
After graduating from Morehouse College in 1970, Vernon Odom did his post graduate study in broadcast journalism at Columbia University. Since joining Action News in the spring of 1976, the list of major news stories he has covered is endless: all the presidential campaigns since 1976, the 3-Mile Island disaster, the MOVE confrontations with Philadelphia police, the X-rated Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, the triple X-rated Clinton-Lewinsky White House scandal, the Los Angeles riots, and the O.J. Simpson trial.
On the international level, Odom has reported from Latin America, Europe and Africa, most notably the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the unbanning of the ANC in 1990; later the first free election in South Africa in 1994, the U.S. invasion of Somalia in 1992, Glasnost in the Soviet Union in 1986; the fall of the Soviet empire in 1989, and the release of U.S. hostages from Beirut in 1991. Vernon was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.
Odom's family history in journalism dates back to the 19th century. His maternal grandfather was the second African-American to publish a daily newspaper. His sister, Maida, was a veteran reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, she now teaches for Temple University and writes for the Boston Globe. Vernon is married to former Inquirer reporter Wanda Motley. They have two children and reside in Chester County.
She had been fighting for her life since September, but Wilmington firefighter Ardythe Hope passed away on Thursday night from injuries suffered battling a blaze that was intentionally set.
An arson in Wilmington has claimed the life of a third firefighter, Ardythe Hope.
Thanksgiving ushers in the holiday season. But for some families, it's hard to make ends meet. That's why Santa's helpers at Toys for Tots are working hard to make the season bright for kids in need all across our area.
In Camden Tuesday afternoon, students from Cooper's Point Elementary buckled up in the name of safety the moment they got on board the bus for the ride home.
The issue of undocumented immigrants and deportation became a central issue in the presidential campaign, and, on Tuesday, we met a human face to the topic at a sanctuary church in Center City Philadelphia.