By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com (Harold Bell and Gary Johnson at the Black Men In America.com office).
Native Washingtonian and former radio and TV talk show legend Harold Bell is sharing his archives of celebrity interviews with the world for Black History Month via his website and YouTube channel. Throughout the month of February and throughout the year, we will support Harold Bell by promoting his efforts to share these classic interviews with legendary and iconic sports and political personalities. For those of you who are new to town and unfamiliar with Harold Bell, the following narrative on Harold by the late great Bert Sugar, tells you just about everything you need to know about the legendary Harold Bell.
Harold Bell has long been a legend around Washington, DC for his work in the streets with at-risk children through his non-profit organization Kids In Trouble, Inc. and for his radio sports talk show, “The Original Inside Sports.”
Harold, is a pioneer in sports talk radio and television in DC. He has interviewed hundreds of leading sports figures from “A” to “Z” the list, includes Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron, George Foreman, Red Auerbach, Jim Brown, Johnny Sample, Dave Bing, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Don King, Clarence “Bighouse” Gaines, Angelo Dundee, Earl Monroe, Sugar Ray Leonard, Gary Williams, Earl Lloyd and Chief Zee (Redskin Hall of Fame mascot).
He has always delved into their personalities with the eye of a reporter, never the “Fluff” of a talk-show host. No topic was ever out of bounds. His credo “A lie will change a thousand times, but the truth never changes,” says a lot about his talk show format.
Former radio and television critic Bill Taaff of the Washington Post said “Inside Sports rules the roost because of a crusading kind of honesty and the show’s guest actually says something. You never have to splash water on your face to stay awake.”
Dick Heller long time columnist for the Washington Times says “Harold Bell is the Godfather of sports talk, the good kind.”
NBA Hall of Fame and pioneer player Earl Lloyd describes Harold best, in an interview heard on ESPN 980 all sports talk radio in Washington, DC said, “Harold maybe controversial, but I have yet to hear anyone call him a liar.”
Harold Bell’s Up Close and Personal interview with Ali in 1974 on NBC WRC TV 4 is a masterpiece. The interview reveals every side of Ali, his funny side, serious side and controversial side. It is an interview of how we all would like to remember Ali before Parkinson’s disease robbed him of his ability to speak.
Ali talked about the difference between a boxer and a fighter. He described the difference between the sluggers, Joe Frazier and George Foreman verse the technicians of the ‘Sweet Science’ Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and himself. I found the interview to be very enlightening and entertaining.”
As an advocate for youth he is second to none. His community involved projects are now being implemented by every pro sports franchise and media outlet in America.
Harold Bell has been honored at the White House by President Richard M. Nixon and on the floor of the House of Representatives on 3 different occasions for his work with at-risk children by Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), Bob Dole (R-Kan) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
He was the first sports media personality to be named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine.
This book covers all the bases, politics, media and the business of professional sports on and off the field. All I can say is fasten your seat belts “From the Out House to the White House to the Legends of Inside Sports” will be an interesting ride.