Letter to my younger self: Ken Koontz

Everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive. That’s why Goodwill turns donated items into free career training to help people in our community achieve the life they want. Learn more at goodwillsp.org/train

Ken Koontz was WBTV’s first Black reporter, coming on board in 1969. He spent 14 years with the local news station — 11 as a reporter and news anchor.

He covered the U.S. Senate campaign of Fritz Hollings in the 1970s, interviewed Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for U.S. president, and wrote about Major League Baseball players Lou Brock and Willie Mays.

Koontz spent his last three years as the station’s director of community affairs.

He also played semi-pro baseball and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Now retired, the 74-year-old mentors the current generation, sharing advice, wisdom and stories about Charlotte’s history. He is also a freelance writer and photography enthusiast.

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