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June 12, 2013

Edward Hotaling, Journalist and Author

Hotaling served as Middle East bureau chief for CBS and also worked for the NBC affiliate station in Washington, D.C.

Edward Hotaling, a broadcast journalist and author who often addressed topics related to black America, died June 3, 2013, in Staten Island, New York. He was 75.

According to news reports, the cause was a heart attack.

Hotaling, a native of Saratoga, New York, worked in various international outposts as a young man and served as Middle East bureau chief at CBS and McGraw-Hill World News. He also worked for WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C.

In 1988, while working at WRC-TV, he did an interview with CBS sports commentator Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder for a report commemorating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. While discussing racial progress in professional sports, Snyder made several comments that resulted in his termination from CBS. For instance, he suggested that blacks were better athletes than whites because their slave ancestors had been “bred to be that way.”

Many years later, in 2000, while researching the 200th anniversary of the building of the White House and the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Hotaling discovered hundreds of monthly payment stubs in Treasury Department archives revealing the work of African-American slave laborers in the construction of both structures. Of 650 workers involved in the projects between 1792 and 1800 400 were slave carpenters, masons and quarry men whose owners received $5 a month for their work.

This information, not widely known, led to the large space at the center of the new Capitol Visitor Center “Emancipation Hall,” in 2007.

Hotaling's interest in subjects related to African Americans was further reflected in They’re Off!: Horse Racing at Saratoga, a book he wrote about horse racing in his hometown, and his discovery that many trainers and jockeys were black. This led to a second book, The Great Black Jockeys: The Lives and Times of the Men Who Dominated America’s First National Sport, which examined the participation and many contributions of blacks to the sport of horse racing.

More about Hotaling and his work is available at:

New York Times

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