Remembering Harry Porterfield
NABJ-Chicago deeply mourns the loss of Harry Porterfield, the trailblazing TV journalist who made an impact at WBBM-TV and WLS-TV for more than 50 years. He retired in 2015 at the age of 87, and was 95 upon his passing, leaving behind a legacy of Black excellence in the local news industry.
“Harry Porterfield made an indelible mark in the Chicago market and across the country, that numerous TV journalists like myself owe a great debt to,” said Brandon Pope, president of the National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter. “Harry’s ‘Someone You Should Know,’ segment changed the role of local features reporting, showing newsroom leaders why it should be a priority in their coverage. He believed everyone has a story worthy of sharing, something all journalists should hold close to their heart and personal ethos. I admire his sharp writing, warm delivery, and charm. It’s what endeared him to so many viewers.”
“Harry was a dear friend,” said Art Norman, NABJ-Chicago board member emeritus and former chapter president. “We remember him as the second Black person to anchor the news in Chicago, on WBBM-TV. The first was Mitchel Ware, who passed away in 2022.”
“What you saw on TV was the real Harry,” said Dorothy Tucker, NABJ-Chicago board member and former NABJ national president. “He was a sweetheart. When I started working at Channel 2 back in the mid-80s, I used to watch Harry’s stories in awe. He had a way of making people feel seen and heard. Harry taught us all the value of compassion.”
The NABJ-Chicago board sends our deepest condolences to the family of Harry Porterfield, and offer our heartfelt prayers and support during this difficult time.