Conversation with Vernon Odom, retired journalist and honoree of the 2019 World Heritage City Celebration

Vernon Odom, retired Philadelphia TV journalist, 6abc, and Zabeth Teelucksingh, executive director, Global Philadelphia Association, recently joined the hosts of Tone and Tenor for a conversation about Vernon's career and life in Philadelphia, as well as receiving the Distinguished Global Journalism Award at the World Heritage City Celebration on September 5, 2019. 

Click here to listen to the podcast episode.

About Vernon Odom, retired journalist, 6abc/WPVI-TV
Odom worked for 6abc/WPVI-TV in Philadelphia for more than 40 years. He joined the Action News team after working as an anchor, reporter and talk show host for the ABC affiliate in Atlanta for 6 years.

Vernon Odom’s broadcasting experience dates to the Martin Luther King assassination, when Vernon was a radio reporter in Atlanta. From there, he covered various phases of the civil rights movement in the south, and the early political campaigns of such eventual national figures as Jimmy Carter, Andrew Young, Julian Bond and Maynard Jackson.

On the international level, Odom has reported from Latin America, Europe and Africa, most notably the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the unbanning of the ANC in 1990; later the first free election in South Africa in 1994, the U.S. invasion of Somalia in 1992, Glasnost in the Soviet Union in 1986; the fall of the Soviet empire in 1989, and the release of U.S. hostages from Beirut in 1991.

The list of major news stories he covered is endless: all the presidential campaigns since 1976, the 3-Mile Island disaster, the MOVE confrontations with Philadelphia police, the X-rated Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, the triple X-rated Clinton-Lewinsky White House scandal, the Los Angeles riots, and the O.J. Simpson trial.
Odom’s family history in journalism dates to the 19th century. His maternal grandfather was the second African American to publish a daily newspaper. His sister, Maida, was a veteran reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, and teaches at Temple University and writes for the Boston Globe. Vernon is married to former Inquirer reporter Wanda Motley.

He was raised by his father, Vernon L. Odom, Sr., an American civil rights leader and his mother, Sadie Harvey Odom, a housewife.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Political Science from Morehouse College. He continued his graduated studies in Broadcast Journalism and graduated from Columbia University.

“He is known for carefully crafting each report, whether he’s standing on the scene of breaking news, in two feet of blinding snow, or even a Super Bowl Win.”

About Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director of Global Philadelphia Association (GPA)

GPA is a nonprofit, member-based organization committed to promoting the global significance of Philadelphia and its international community. GPA’S global outreach is most notably known for connecting with the City of Philadelphia for membership in the Organization of World Heritage Cities in November 2015, making Philadelphia the first World Heritage City in the US.

Born in Carthage, Tunisia, Zabeth was educated in the UK and the French Lycee in London, graduating from Lancaster University with a triple major in Philosophy, Politics and History. She studied French Civilization at the Sorbonne in Paris.