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.
Philadelphia's new fire commissioner Adam Thiel is officially on the job after being sworn in Monday.
From the city to the suburbs, caterpillars seem to be invading neighborhoods.
Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday for the Living Flame Memorial Service, held in honor of police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.
After three weeks Verizon workers are still on strike. But this past weekend they lost their health insurance benefits.
State politicians came together Friday to mark a milestone at the Port of Philadelphia that will bring in more cargo and more jobs.