James G. Babb, Jr. oral history interview, 2013 July 18
In this interview, James G. “Jim” Babb, long-time Charlotte resident and student at Charlotte College in the 1950s, recalls his early years in New York City, Boston, and Charlotte, North Carolina; his school days at Dilworth Elementary School, O’Donohue School, and Central High School in Charlotte; his employment at The Charlotte News, The Charlotte Observer, and WBTV; his service in the United States Army during the Korean War; and his education at Newberry College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Belmont-Abbey College, and Charlotte College. Specifically, he shares about the circumstances that led to each of these associations throughout his life and comments on memorable individuals he met along the way. He describes Bonnie Cone and Edyth Winningham from Charlotte College and discusses fellow students John Kilgo, Ken Harris, and Merwin Foard. He speculates about the origin of Dr. Cone’s tenacity and compassion, shares his opinion of her being passed over for the chancellorship of the newly created University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and identifies what he believes is her legacy. Other topics include Mr. Babb’s parents’ occupations, his opinion of segregation, his first relationship with an African-American individual as a child, his assessment of World War II’s effect on his family and community, his involvement from childhood in playing and reporting on sports, his opinion of Chancellor Dean Colvard, and his association with political campaigns, including the pioneering use of television in local campaigning.
James G. “Jim” Babb, Jr., was an 81-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place at WCCB TV in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born in New York City, New York, in 1932 and was educated at Charlotte College and Belmont-Abbey College. He was employed in several positions at WBTV and WBT Radio in Charlotte and served as president and CEO of Jefferson Pilot Communications in Greensboro, North Carolina, president of Outlet Communications in Providence, Rhode Island, executive vice president of Bahakel Communications in Charlotte, and president of Babb Communications.