Television Reporter Edward Hotaling ’59 Dies
Edward Hotaling ’59, a legendary television reporter whose research in 2000 uncovered the use of slave labor in building the White House and Capitol building, died June 3 in Staten Island. He was 75.
Hotaling’s discovery led to a Congressional task force to determine how to honor the slave builders, as well as education about their contributions to the buildings that are integral pieces of American history.
Hotaling was well-known for his 1988 interview with CBS sports commentator Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder when Hotaling was a reporter at NBC affiliate WRC-TV in Washington. Snyder’s response to Hotaling’s question on racial progress in professional sports ultimately led to Snyder’s firing from CBS.
A native of Saratoga Springs, Hotaling was the editor of SU’s Daily Orange newspaper from 1958-59, the year before SU Trustee Joyce Hergenhan ’63 came to campus. “All who had worked with him spoke about him all the time, about what an intelligent, thoughtful person and what a great editor he was,” Hergenhan says. “He was admired and looked up to by all who worked with him at the DO. By the time I got to campus, he was already a legend.” He earned bachelor’s degrees from The College of Arts and Sciences and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Hotaling earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He then embarked on sojourns around the globe. In his early 20s, he lived outside Tehran and wrote for an Iranian publisher. He later joined the International Herald Tribune in Paris and then moved on to Greece, where he taught, wrote and reported. He also reported on the Six-Day War in Israel.
He came back to the United States and worked as a writer in New York and Los Angeles and as a CBS producer before returning to the Middle East as bureau chief for CBS News and McGraw-Hill World News, reporting on wars and business developments among the oil powers in the region. His book “Islam Without Illusions: Its Past, Its Present and Its Challenge for Our Future” (Syracuse University Press, 2003) was the first book by a major American journalist as a whole.
Hotaling joined WRC-TV in 1977. He won six local Emmy Awards during his 25-year career there before retiring in 2002.
Hotaling had a long-time interest in American slavery, which was kindled by research he did for his 1995 book “They’re Off! Horse Racing at Saratoga” (SU Press). He authored two subsequent books—“The Great Black Jockeys: The Lives and Times of the Men Who Dominated America’s First National Sport (Crown, 1999) and “Wink: The Incredible Life and Epic Journey of Jimmy Winkfield” (MacGraw-Hill).
Survivors include Hotaling’s two sons, Greg and Luc, and his two brothers, William and James. He was predeceased by his wife, Marthe Vincent Hotaling, in 1995.