George Wilson, a veteran journalist and broadcaster whose reports were heard on radio outlets across the country for decades is being remembered as a powerful voice with a witty intellect. Wilson, who became “Black America’s voice” on Capitol Hill, died March 17 at the age of 70. In recent years, he suffered complications from a stroke in 2013.
Wilson reported for the AFRO, National Black Network, Sheridan Broadcast Network, the American Urban Radio Network and Sirius XM radio. In addition to being a national broadcaster, Wilson also reported for WHUR and was well known as “GW on the Hill,” and he also wrote a weekly column for the Washington Informer.
Veteran AFRO journalist George Wilson died at Washington Hospital Center March 17. (Courtesy photo)
Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher of the Washington Informer, told the AFRO “George was Black America’s voice on the Hill. We looked forward to his insights and analysis not only from legislation coming from the Congressional Black Caucus but also on issues impacting the District of Columbia.”
Askia Muhammad, a WPFW host and senior editor for The Final Call said, “He was the dean of the Black press on Capitol Hill. He was without fear and was a great influence on many of the Black press secretaries on Capitol Hill.”
Brian Summers, who works as a Congressional staffer, said that Wilson was well respected in the Senate Radio and TV Gallery and had one of the largest broadcast booths , which he filled with equipment and newspapers. Summers told the AFRO “I was proud to join him in the booth at and on his final show for coverage of the 2012 election night we did from XM studios. Boy did he have a voice.”
David “Oggi” Ogburn, a veteran photographer, said “George was a real good brother. I was always curious and I knew I could get a straight story. George was a great teacher. I learned so much from him.”
Veteran photographer Roy Lewis said, “George was a pioneer and trailblazer. He rocked the boat. He would deal with controversy and take stands,” Lewis said. “The members of Congress loved him because they got their message to people through him”.
Wilson’s passion for journalism led him to places around the world and particularly cultivated sources in the international and diplomatic community. Wilson covered the fall of apartheid in South Africa, the plight of former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide and he chronicled the revolution of many African dictatorships
He wasn’t just local he was an international reporter,” Lewis told the AFRO.
‘George was always kind and looking out for others. Many of us in the media can often be full of ourselves, but he was always humble, a professional and had keen insight what was really going on in the stories,” said Nolu Crocket-Ntonga, (Phyllis Crocket) a long-time Washington correspondent for National Public Radio who covered the White House, Congress, and Supreme Court
WAMU host Kojo Nnamdi said he met Wilson in the late 1970’s. “He was a Capitol Hill reporter who had a command of the Congressional Black Caucus and this was a testimony of his persistence as a reporter,” Nnamdi said.
Bonita Bing, a Capitol Hill photographer and President of the Exposure Group, said “George told it like it was. There was never fake news. Whether people liked it or not.”
Tene Croom, former news director and anchor for the American Urban Radio Network, said “George Wilson was a consummate Capitol Hill correspondent. He did what no one else had done and has done: He brought news from the Hill about people who were the underdogs Black, white and the voices of the underprivilege to the US and the World.”
Croom, who is chair of the Black Press Taskforce for the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ), said, “George shared the spotlight on groups like the Black Farmers who were waiting for their 40 acres and the mule and he brought these the big stories to people in little cities across the country.”
Wilson was born in New Orleans on October 10, 1947 to George II and Rose Wilson. His family moved to Washington, D.C. when he was a kid. He attended Paul Junior High School and graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School in 1965. While a loyal North Carolina A&T Aggie, George also attended Howard University.
His widow, Iris Wilson, said that she fell in love with George after he called into National Public Radio inquiring about a job and she heard his voice. “George’s velvet voice was unmistakable over the air waves. He had a passion for radio and now he is broadcasting somewhere in Heaven.”
Wilson left the airwaves in 2013 after he had a stroke but enjoyed talking to friends and spending time with family. On March 17 Wilson died at the Washington Hospital Center. He is survived by his wife, mother, six children, seven grandchildren, one great grandchild, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Wilson will be eulogized March 26, 2018 at Unity of Washington D.C. 1225 R Street, N.W. The viewing will be at 10 a.m. and he service 11 am. Internment is at George Washington Cemetery, 9500 Riggs Road, Adelphi, MD. Repast at Unity of WDC.