Leon, a veteran journalist and broadcaster, worked at WKYC-TV 3, Cleveland's NBC affiliate. He held several positions there after joining the station in 1979, including news anchor and general assignment reporter. Prior to his work there, Leon worked as a weekday anchor and reporter for WCMH in Columbus and as a news reporter at WTOL in Toledo. He began his journalism career as a news reporter for The Plain Dealer.
Robert Taylor, a sixth-grade teacher, was the first person to steer Leon's career path toward journalism. "He saw something in me, and advised me to go into a profession where I could write. 'It is a gift,' the teacher advised. 'Leon, use your gift.' "
Leon became the first African-American anchor in the state of Ohio and the rest, as they say, is journalism history.
To make himself better, Leon continually asks himself: "Now that I have hundreds of thousands of people listening to me, what should I say?"
Leon has many feathers in his cap for nationally covered stories, such as The Persian Gulf War, an interview with President Bush at the Bush White House and Neil Armstrong's first interview 10 years after his historic walk on the moon.
During Cleveland's 1989 general mayoral campaign, he interviewed Mayor Michael White and George Forbes (attorney and president of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) on live television for two hours. "Not only was I sole questioner, I was the 'third man in the ring' keeping the conversation going, probing the issues, and separating the two candidates when separation was needed. It was a 120-minute, major segment," he said.
Leon also believes that he is probably the only local TV news reporter in the nation to have interviewed convicted assassin James Earl Ray in a Tennessee prison about the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.
It's obvious that Leon has a passion for journalism.
Leon's unique talent for storytelling has made him one of the most respected journalists and anchors in our community. Bibb, a five-time Emmy award winner, has been nominated many times. He has also won awards of excellence from the Cleveland Press Club and Cleveland State University and the Radio-TV Council.
Bibb is a member of the following Halls of Fame:
He has received several Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Cleveland Press Club and recognized with the Distinguished Journalist Award from the Cleveland Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. He also has received an award from his alma mater, Glenville High School. Leon, who is also an Army veteran, received a Bronze Star Medal for his service in Vietnam.
In 1996, Gov. George Voinovich appointed Leon Bibb to the Board of Trustees at Bowling Green State University. Leon is chairman of that Board.
He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
During his leisure, Leon continues honing his craft as a wordsmith. He has written several short stories and poems, many of which have been published.
He enjoys reading Time, Vanity Fair, Esquire and American Heritage. Leon also has a passion for audio books and has appeared in several theater productions, the latest being "Love Letters," at the Karamu House, a local African-American theater. He loves theater and vintage Hollywood classics and quotes scenes from them in many of his speeches. He is a fan of all types of music and has served as the narrator for the world-renowned Cleveland Symphony Orchestra reciting "A Lincoln Portrait."
Leon is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. He lives with his wife, Marguerite, in Shaker Heights. His daughters, Jennifer and Alison, are grown.
And when he's not busy reading, rehearsing his scripts or spending time with his family, he can be found in one of several local jazz spots. "I am a fan of jazz music and I like to visit those places where the mood is cool, but the jazz is hot, and the inward feeling is always mellow. If you have heard Miles Davis' Classic, "Round Midnight," or John Coltrane's, "My Favorite Things," or Billy Strayhorn's, "Lushlife," or Horace Silver's "Song for My Father," you know what I mean. If you have not heard them, too bad for you."
Since he was a child, he dreamed of working in TV as a journalist.
"I'm living my dream," he said. "It doesn't get any better than that."
Drop him a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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