CLEVELAND - Dorothy Fuldheim’s commentary on her 86th birthday began, “The house I live in.” And for the next four or so minutes, our award-winning journalist went on to use a house as an analogy for her life and career. This commentary ran 32 years ago this weekend, June 26, 1979.
It was such a popular commentary, viewers inundated the station with requests for it.
So it was throughout her career, touching viewers or readers and having the pulse of the city.
She began her career in television some 32 years earlier at age 54, even before WEWS went on the air in 1947.
Born Dorothy Violet Snell on June 26, 1893 in New Jersey, she would spend her early years in Milwaukee. She married Milton Fuldheim and kept the Fuldheim name after his death in the 50s. She would eventually re-marry.
As I wrote in a previous Video Vault segment on Fuldheim covering Princess Diana’s wedding in London, her career as a journalist before television had her interviewing Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Her television interviews ran the gamut from presidents and sports stars to such important figures as Helen Keller and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The 6 p.m. newscast in which this commentary aired had a small ‘news hole’ as we say in the business. A 30 minute newscast minus three or four commercial breaks of maybe two minutes each, throw in a couple a minutes for weather and sports and you have not much left to tell the news of the day with this segment of 4:31.
On set with Dorothy were Ted Henry, Jenny Crimm and Gib Shanley. The video is a bit washed out, and for that I apologize.
She suffered a stroke in 1984. Her final interview was done by satellite with then-President Reagan, a fitting end to an amazing career.
Dorothy Fuldheim died Nov. 3, 1989.
Enjoy this, one of the most memorable of Dorothy Fuldheim’s commentaries and Happy 118th Birthday, Dorothy.