3/20/1908 - 12/24/2006
Frank Stanton was a distinguished broadcast executive who brought leadership to the Columbia Broadcasting System during his 25 year presidency from 1946 to 1971. Stanton acquired a reputation as the unofficial spokesperson for the broadcasting industry. His opinions were routinely sought, his speeches repeatedly quoted, and his testimony before Congress recognized as a major part of any debate about the broadcasting field. Frank Stanton was instrumental in bringing about the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates. He was known as a staunch defender of broadcast’s First Amendment rights: in fact, he was cited three times for Contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives for refusing to turn over materials related to his 1971 documentary The Selling of the Pentagon. For his courageous protection of the concept of the freedom of the press, Stanton is called by some the patron saint of broadcast journalism.