Journalist Edie Huggins dies

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July 29, 2008 11:40:03 AM PDT
Edie Huggins, the first African-American woman to report on the air in Philadelphia, died after a lengthy illness according to officials with NBC 10.

Huggins' 42-year career started in 1966 saw her anchor and co-anchor WCAU-TV's newscasts and host other local programs. In 2008, Huggins was honored this year by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) honored with a lifetime achievement award and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) named Huggins the recipient of this year's prestigious board of Governor's Award.

"In her uniquely dignified way, Edie helped open the doors and blazed the trail that made it possible for so many of us to be here," said NBC 10 Vice President of News Chris Blackman. "Personally, I will always appreciate her support ... checking in on me whenever I had a rough day. Although she'll no longer be in our newsroom, she'll remain in our hearts."

She was one of the founding members of the National Association of Black Journalists, an organization that honored her in 2005. In November 2002, Huggins was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame, and she was chosen by the Urban League of Philadelphia as one of the "Outstanding African-American Philadelphians of the 20th Century. "She was honored by the Philadelphia Chapter of American Women in Radio & Television as "Communicator of the Year" in 1993.

Huggins, originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, graduated cum laude from the State University of New York with a bachelor's degree in Science. After graduation, she worked at both Bellevue and Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospitals in New York City as a registered nurse.

She is survived by her two devoted adult children, son Hastings Edward and daughter Laurie Linn. Edie Huggins was 72.