Dorothy Fuldheim (1893 - 1989)
Born Dorothy Violet Snell was an American journalist and anchor.
Fuldheim has a role in American television news history; she is credited with
being the first woman in the United States to anchor a television news broadcast
as well to host her own television show. She has been referred to as the "First
Lady Of Television News."
Fuldheim, an American of Jewish descent, was born in Passaic, New Jersey. She
spent her childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Prior to working in broadcasting,
she was an elementary schoolteacher.
During the 1920s, after her first marriage, Ms. Fuldheim moved to Cleveland,
Ohio where she began her theatrical, lecturing and broadcasting careers. She
started in radio hosting a biography program for the ABC Radio network. Ms.
Fuldheim was their first female commentator. Prior to World War II, she had
interviewed both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.
Ms. Fuldheim began her television career at age 54 when joined the staff of
WEWS-TV Channel 5 in Cleveland in 1947. At that time, it was the only television
station between New York and Chicago. Despite spending her entire broadcasting
career based in Cleveland, she traveled widely to cover a variety of news
stories, and was regarded as a broadcaster of national importance.
While the format of her show, The One O'Clock Club consisted primarily of news
analysis, it also included commentary, book reviews and interviews. In the years
that the One O'Clock Club aired, Ms. Fuldheim interviewed a number of diverse
notable persons including the Duke of Windsor, Helen Keller, Barbara Walters and
Martin Luther King Jr. She also interviewed several 20th century American
Ms. Fuldheim, recognizable for her fiery red hair, was well known for her
sometimes controversial opinions. She was not shy about supporting unpopular
causes, nor in voicing her opposition if she disagreed with a guest.
Ms. Fuldheim's long and distinguished career ended when she suffered a stroke in
July 1984, shortly after interviewing U.S. President Ronald Reagan. She never
again appeared on television and died in Cleveland five years later at the age
In 2003, Fuldheim was posthumously awarded an Ohio Historical Marker for her
contributions to journalism.