KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – Roscoe Harrison Jr., who died Sunday, Feb. 6, is being hailed for leaving a historic legacy in his central Texas community.
Harrison was born in 1944 in Belton where he eventually attended Harris High School, an all-black high school. After graduating, he attended Prairie View A&M and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton.
In 1960, Harrison’s career in journalism began at age 16 as a radio announcer for KTEM radio.
Harrison was the first reporter for the Temple Daily Telegram in 1966 and the San Antonio Express News in 1967.
In the spring of 1968, while working for Jet Magazine, Harrison Jr. had a historic encounter with civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Two weeks after meeting, King is murdered.
Harrison was commissioned to cover his death and funeral for the publication, and his coverage of the assassination won a Pulitzer Prize.
In 1970, Harrison became the first black news anchor for KCEN-TV, a position he held until 1993, when he moved into public relations with the Center for Healthcare Policy at Scott and White Healthcare System.
Harrison was also deputy press secretary to the late Texas Attorney General John Hill.
He also served as pastor at 8th Street Baptist Church in Temple.
Throughout his life, he has been involved in the Central Texas community with organizations such as Temple Kiwanas Club, Hope for The Hungry Board of Directors, CARE Leadership Network, Temple Branch NAACP, Second Vice President of the Temple Area Co-Ed Ministerial Association, Bell County Museum Board of Trustees, Sigma Delta Chi (Society of Professional Journalists), Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Honorary Past Master of Nolan Creek Masonic Lodge #227 of Belton, Texas.
He was also a member of the Temple Mayoral team that helped establish the William Courtney Veterans Home in Temple
Harrison has been listed on Who’s Who Among African Americans, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in Texas Public Relations and named Beltonian of the Year in 2019.
A public viewing will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Eighth Street Baptist, followed by a wake from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the church.
A funeral will be held Monday at First Baptist Church at the 506 block of N. Main St. in Belton with the Reverend Dr. Bruce Datcher of Fort Worth, president of the Texas State Missionary Baptist Association, officiating; the eulogy will be the Reverend George Harrison, Roscoe’s brother.
Interment will follow at North Belton Cemetery.
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