2013 Legacy Inductee

John Holliman

1948 - 1998

John Holliman was born in 1948 in Atlanta and grew up in Thomaston, Georgia. He attended R.E. Lee Grammar School and R.E. Lee Institute. His radio career began at age 14, broadcasting Little League baseball games for WTGA radio in Thomaston and eventually became a high school DJ at the station.  While attending the University of Georgia, he worked at WGAU and WRFC as a newsman. After earning his Journalism degree at UGA, his first job after college was at WSB Radio in Atlanta. John then moved to Washington, D.C. and did reporting and news for the Metromedia Radio Network on WASH-FM. From 1974 until 1980, he served as the agricultural editor for The Associated Press Radio Network. While at AP, he received a Peabody Award for a documentary. In 1980, he went to work at CNN as Agricultural Editor. Holliman at CNN and also served as a reporter and anchorman. He was promoted to White House Correspondent and worked as CNN's NASA reporter, covering space shuttle missions. On January 16th, 1991, John, along with Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw gave the first live report from the middle of an air strike on CNN during the Persian Gulf War. This report was an audio-only report, broadcasted using a four wire box from a hotel room in the Al Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad. The Iraqis allowed CNN to use the four wire box because they knew that the electric power would be turned off in Baghdad as soon as any bombing took place and that the reporters would not be able to broadcast any news that the government would not want broadcasted. The report would not have been successfully broadcast if John hadn't figured out how to hook up a camera battery to the four wire box, allowing electricity to reach the box. CNN was the only network able to give a live report on that night; a report that was shared by all of the other networks. John died in an automobile accident in 1998 and Eleanor Helin of NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory named an asteroid after John. The name of the asteroid is Asteroid 6711 Holliman. It continues to travel through space as does the memory of John Holliman.

Click to hear John Holliman reporting from Iraq.

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Georgia Radio Hall Of Fame Corporation, 2013