Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Lewis, Diana

Veteran news anchor Diana Lewis was born in Pennsylvania. As an assistant producer at WPVI-TV 6 in Philadelphia, Lewis’s on-camera debut was courtesy of Maya Angelou in 1968. Angelou was slated to host Black Book, an African American community issues show, but fell ill shortly before taping. Lewis stepped in to replace her. Her work led her to KABC-TV in Los Angeles where her reporting earned her accolades and a few movie roles. Following a report on unsafe canned food, Lewis received a call from Sylvester Stallone who asked her to appear in his next film, Rocky. She also appeared in the television shows All My Children, Murder She Wrote, and The Twilight Zone

Following stints in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, Lewis arrived in Detroit and started her long career at WXYZ on July 4th, 1977. Lewis, along with veteran broadcaster Bill Bonds, co-anchored Action News at 7 p.m. During their tenure, Action News did not shy away from taboo topics. In 1978, Lewis tackled the realities of childbirth and reported the nation’s first television story on childbearing. In 2004, Lewis stepped down from her daily anchor position at WXYZ to co-anchor a show with her daughter, Glenda Lewis, a fellow Emmy Award winning WXYZ anchor. The show was the first mother-daughter anchored news show in the country. In 2014, Lewis retired from WXYZ to focus on other ways to help the community.  

Throughout her 44 years in broadcasting, Lewis shed light on the issues faced daily by fellow Detroiters. Respected by her peers, Lewis has been inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists, the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, and the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Moreover, Lewis is the recipient of two Emmy Awards, the Media Award (from Michigan Business and Professional Association), and the Silver Circle Award. Lewis is also honored at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington D.C.



Black and white photo of Diana Lewis, 1980

Color photo of Diana Lewis, 1980

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