Williams (Benjamin V.) Papers

Ben Williams and KPIX news crew with employees working on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) tunnel, circa 1960s, Benjamin V. Williams papers, MS 194, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library.

Journalist and television reporter Benjamin Vernon Williams (1927-2012) was born on January 25, 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri. After joining KPIX in 1966, he became the first African American television reporter in northern California. While working as a television news reporter at KPIX, he covered stories on the Free Speech Movement on the University of California Berkeley campus, Vietnam War protests, the assassination of Bobby Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California, the Black Panther Party, Symbionese Liberation Army’s kidnapping of Patty Heart, and the trial of serial killer Juan Corona. In 1977, he was awarded an Area Emmy Award from the San Francisco Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his exclusive interview with Sara Jane Moore after her attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford in San Francisco, California on September 22, 1975. In 1972, he was promoted to weekend anchorman and in 1975 became Oakland News Bureau Chief. He worked for KPIX for over 25 years until his retirement in 1990.

The Benjamin V. Williams papers consists on correspondence, news reports, audiovisual material, speeches, employment records, photographs, and memorabilia documenting Ben Williams’ long career as a journalist and reporter for KPIX and other news San Francisco Bay news organizations.

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Title: Benjamin V. Williams papers
Dates: 1957-2012
Collection number: MS 194
Creator: Williams, Benjamin V.
Collection Size: 4 linear feet (8 boxes + 1 oversized box)

Guide to the Benjamin V. Williams Papers

Available at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

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