Douglas Kiker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Douglas Kiker (January 7, 1930 – August 14, 1991) was an American author and newspaper and television reporter whose career spanned some three decades.

Kiker was born in Griffin, Georgia. He first gained national attention for his book The Southerner, published in 1957. Later, he became director of information for the Peace Corps, serving from 1961 until 1963. He left the government and became a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune newspaper and in his first week on the job rode in the press bus in the motorcade of President John F. Kennedy when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. By 1966, NBC News had taken notice of his varied background and hired him as a correspondent. He would remain with that network for the rest of his life.

Kiker became distinguished for his numerous assignments over the years for NBC. Perhaps his best-known work was covering military conflicts in Southeast Asia (namely Vietnam) and the Mideast (particularly the Iranian Revolution); during much of that time, he served as NBC's Rome bureau chief, with a territory encompassing most of Europe and western Asia. He received the Peabody Award in 1970 for his coverage of the Black September in Jordan conflict.

But Kiker also excelled at domestic stories, as well, including the Civil Rights movement and U.S. politics. He was the commentator on the August 9, 1974 live broadcast of President Richard Nixon's departure from office in disgrace from the Watergate scandal. Kiker filed reports for David Brinkley's documentaries and short-lived newsmagazines during the 1970s, in addition to his regular work on NBC Nightly News, where he occasionally anchored on the weekends. Kiker worked as a floor reporter during NBC's coverage of the 1972 political conventions and was Washington editor for Today in the mid- to late 1970s.

In the early 1980s, Kiker did a report critical of radio personality Howard Stern, just as Stern was leaving a Washington D.C. station to join WNBC-AM in New York. The report likely foretold the problems Stern would later have at WNBC.[citation needed]

Later in his life, Kiker pursued his side interest of writing mysteries, which received some critical acclaim. He died at the age of 61 from a heart attack, while vacationing in Chatham, Massachusetts.

External links[edit]