Eddie Barker´s Notebook
..and the Death of President John F. Kennedy
A true pioneer of local television news and the man who first announced to the world that President John F. Kennedy had died has authored a book detailing the story of his career.
Co-written by Texas A&M University-Commerce professor Dr. John Mark Dempsey, the book contains a foreword by Barker´s long-time friend and colleague, Walter Cronkite.
Barker left KMAC radio in his native San Antonio to join KRLD-TV (now KDFW), Channel 4 on its first day of broadcasting, December 3, 1949, and remained with Channel 4 (and KRLD radio) until May 1972. He then embarked on a second career in Dallas public relations as head of Eddie Barker Associates.
From the embryonic days of local TV news, swiping stories from the local newspapers and holding up wire-service photos on camera, to the days of true electronic newsgathering, Barker was there. He is one of a handful of broadcast journalists who shaped what we take for granted today as local news. But the heart of the book centers on Barker´s involvement in covering the JFK assassination for KRLD and CBS News.
Barker played a prominent role in CBS´s reporting of the Kennedy assassination, working closely with Cronkite, Dan Rather and CBS news executive Don Hewitt, best known as the producer of "60 Minutes."
Eddie Barker interviewed many an entertainer in his role as news reporter, and also enjoyed a long career as a sportscaster for the legendary Humble Network. So, readers will find a treasure of anecdotes here on Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Jayne Mansfield, Ginger Rogers, Dizzy Dean and many others. Thirty-two pages of archival photos include original shots of Richard Nixon, Joseph McCarthy, Humphrey Bogart, Arthur Godfrey, Billy Graham and many others.
After retiring from his career in public relations, Barker moved to rural Northeast Texas. Today, he hosts a lively weekday talk show on KPLT radio in Paris, Texas. He is a charter member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.
Gary Mack(Curator, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza)
"Some of the best local news coverage of the Kennedy assassination came from this man´s Dallas newsroom and yes, there really are stories behind the stories - history will appreciate his willingness to tell them."