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RIP Gil Noble – Award-Winning Journalist, Producer & Host Of Ground Breaking TV Series “Like It Is”

RIP Gil Noble - Award-Winning Journalist, Producer & Host Of Ground Breaking TV Series "Like It Is"

On the heels of Curtis’ This Week In Black Television post, this sad piece of news was just released:

Some 9 months after suffering a devastating stroke that effectively ended his career, African American Broadcast TV legend, whose career spanned over 50 years, Gil Noble, maybe best known as producer and host of the groundbreaking ABC public affairs program Like It Is (he became host in 1968), has died.

There hasn’t been an official statement on the cause of his death.

He was 80 years old, and leaves behind his wife Jean, and their five children.

In addition to hosting the long-running Like It Is, during his career, Noble also produced documentaries on Paul RobesonW. E. B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr.Charlie Parker, and others, and in the process, won numerous awards, including 7 Emmys, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and 5 honorary doctorates. 

His family will reportedly announce plans for a funeral service.


This Article is related to: News



Growing up, I was not allowed to watch much TV on a daily basis, but 'Like It Is' was practically required viewing in my home. It was a privilege to watch every Sunday afternoon…it was powerful television. Mr. Noble was a true professional, charismatic and skillful in the way he would gently press his subjects to tell it 'like it is'. I respected greatly that he engaged the audience to think about some very serious, often painful subject matter and he approached these matters with the reasonable tone of a journalist. He had passion but he wasn't a shouter or a screamer, he very reasonably allowed the conversation and the facts to unfold and trusted that the viewer was intelligent enough to come to their own conclusions. And when the shouting, cross-talk of cable news/chat shows came along, his show was a blessed antidote. If people can get a hold of some of his interviews, it is very much worth a look. I feel fortunate to have grown up in an area where I had weekly access to his program.
When I heard about his stroke and the eventual cancellation of the program, I was saddened and I knew he was seriously ill. And even though, when I heard of his passing yesterday, it was not unexpected, it was still a bit of a shock.

Jacqueline Celestin Fils-Aime

R.I.P. Gil Noble


"Like it is" was a Sunday favorite in my house. I grew up watching and still re-watch episodes on YT. I hope the episodes are being preserved somehow. Gil Noble documented so much of our history, I'd hate to see it lost or gathering dust. RIP to a great man, he was truly a paragon.

James Madsion

Definitely a huge void. There was no other programming that produced as compiling content…needed content that Gil Noble bought forth every Sunday. What a great legacy he produced. Thank you Mr. Gil Noble.


So sad. What a great lost. He was Sunday church for my mom. I learned so much from his show. A true lion. He left a great legacy. May he rest in peace.


Thank you for posting. Mr. Noble leaves a proud, wonderful legacy. I just watched a Like It Is episode a while back featuring Adam Clayton Powell Sr.– So sad we have lost two television icons a few months apart from each other.

Joe Doughrity

I remember tracking down his Malcom X doc. Another legend passes. RIP.


This hurts but we kind of expected it sooner or later. This man is one of my heroes since childhood. Didn't hear about it from my other circles, so thanks for posting Courtney. I wrote a pretty lengthy piece about Mr. Noble and Like It Is a few months ago when they formally announced his leaving the show. Check it out here for some more history on this wonderful and fascinating brother:

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