Beverly Armstrong, former television anchor, poet - The Buffalo News

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Beverly Armstrong, former television anchor, poet

March 5, 1956 – May 26, 2014

Beverly Armstrong, who was part of Buffalo’s first African-American television news anchor team in the 1980s, died May 26 in Columbia, S.C. She was 58.

Born in Buffalo, Beverly Eduarda Armstrong-Washington was a 1974 graduate of Nichols School, attended the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and earned a degree in journalism from Buffalo State College.

Ms. Armstrong began her broadcasting career as host of WKBW-TV’s “Public Affairs” show and was a public affairs assistant at WNED-TV.

She joined WGRZ-TV in 1980 as a production assistant and quickly was promoted to public service director and co-host of the public affairs show “Buffalo Etc.”

In 1982, she became a general assignment reporter and the following year she was named weekend anchor at 6 and 11 p.m. She and Les Trent, who went on to host “Inside Edition,” made history as the city’s first African-American anchor team.

After she left WGRZ in 1988, she was director of development, public relations and marketing at Sheehan Memorial Hospital and news and public affairs director at radio station WUFO.

She moved to Lima, Ohio, in 1991, to work in radio news and was director of marketing for Continued Care, a home health care agency in Lima.

She went to South Carolina in 1998, where she was readers’ desk supervisor for the State newspaper in Columbia. She later held jobs in customer service at WACH Fox 57 TV and Adecco Employment Services.

At WACH, she produced and hosted “Carolina Moms,” a show for women that focused on domestic violence and autism. From her home, she also produced shows for the Women’s Broadcasting Network, based in Colorado.

Also a caregiver through Agape Health Services in Columbia, at the time of her death she was providing care for her disabled brother and her adult son with autism.

A poet, she won the Red Jacket prize for her poetry in 1973 and published a book of poems, “Language of Love.” In recent years, she wrote a book entitled “Tears Hath No Color” about her experiences in dealing with social service agencies in South Carolina.

She won awards as a news reporter from the Associated Press here and in Ohio. She also received a Black Achievers in Industry Award from 1490 Enterprises and a Coast Guard award for community service.

Survivors include her son, Brandon J. Washington; and a brother, Raymond “Dennis.”

Services will be held at 7:30 p.m. today in Young Tabernacle Holiness Church, 623 Best St., after visitation at 7.

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