The following essay was written in 2002 by Jim Kincaid and was originally published in the book titled "Anna's Eyes - The Story of Theo the Artist." The publisher is L'Art de Theo, Ltd., 990 Sulphur Spring Road, Prospect, VA 23960. The essay is rekeyed and reprinted, without illustrations, with permission of L'Art de Theo, Ltd., ISBN 0-9742541-0-X. If you have questions or comments regarding the essay, or if you would like to obtain a copy of the book, please contact L'Art de Theo, Ltd. directly through either this phone number or web address:



 

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About the Author:

 

Jim Kincaid Biography

Jim Kincaid was born in 1934 in Houston, Texas, but was raised in Arkansas. He often tells his audiences that his parents moved there "as soon as they heard about it".

His education came at the hands of the Arkansas Public School System, rated at the time as ranking forty-seventh among the forty-eight states in the Union. He says, tongue-in-cheek, that Arkansas's motto at the time was "Thank God for Mississippi". But Kincaid insists that the quality of that education was actually quite good, concentrating on English, Math, History and Social Studies, Science, Geography, and Agriculture, all rounded off with Latin for dessert.

It was in Arkansas that Kincaid got his start in broadcasting, going to work at age fifteen for a local radio station before he finished high school in Russellville, Arkansas. He worked his way through several stations in bigger towns until he received his draft notice in 1956. Kincaid dodged the draft by volunteering for three years of service in the Army rather than the two required by the Selective Service System, thus enabling him to have at least some say in his military service specialty.

After basic training he was assigned to the American Forces Network Headquarters station in Frankfurt, Germany, where he concentrated on news broadcasting, radio documentary production, and acquiring a working knowledge of German. His lifelong idol, Edward R. Murrow, visited AFN during Kincaid's service there, and was so impressed with the young soldier that he promised, and came through, on helping him make connections in big time broadcasting once his military service was completed.

In 1960, Kincaid joined the staff of WWL-TV in New Orleans, where he reported, anchored, and earned the National Gold Bell Award for a documentary on the life of Pope John XXIII. Later, his obituary of this remarkable and revolutionary Pope earned high praise from all who heard him deliver it on the day Pope John died. It can be quoted in its entirety here. "There was a man who came from God, and his name was John. Today, he has gone home."

Kincaid's early days in broadcasting coincided with the most turbulent days of the civil rights struggle, and took him into dangerous situations many times. He was there when Bull Connor loosed the dogs at Pettis Bridge, and he walked with Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery. He probably won't show you his scars, but he's got some.

Kincaid's career took him to St. Louis, a television station owned and operated by the CBS network where he covered the early development of the space program, and later to WCBS-TV in New York, the flagship station of the CBS network.

After a critically successful few seasons covering "one of a kind" stories on the streets of New York, he accepted an offer from the ABC network to become a full fledged correspondent, seeking the travel and adventure such a position implied. And it was so, first with the space program, then an assignment to Viet Nam where the war was still in full swing.

After many months covering the war, the human tragedy, and the political deterioration of Viet Nam, Kincaid was transferred to Hong Kong, not by his own doing, but by a serious injury that required surgery and a lengthy recuperation. There, during the following six months, Kincaid got himself to the ABC Bureau daily to read the wires, and report on China.

Back in the States, he resumed his "one of a kind" story tradition, covered national politics, and earned the prestigious Peabody Award for his series of stories on the coal industry and the State of West Virginia.

In 1978, Kincaid left ABC and took a job as anchorman at a television station in Norfolk, Virginia. There, his daily commentaries on all subjects under the sun made him a beloved fixture. This he continued for eighteen years, and in the course of it, he wrote four books. Notes to my Friends, Notes from Elam, and Notes on Politics were all collections of his television commentaries, and Theo, a story about his beloved father-in-law, the painter Theodore Wildanger.

Kincaid retired in 1997 and lives with his wife Catherine at Elam, Virginia, the location of which has been a curiosity to his viewers for more than two decades. There, he spends his days writing a little, but most happily baby-sitting his infant granddaughter Tra My, an orphan from Viet Nam adopted by his daughter and her husband in 2002.

His next book, well underway, already has a title. "Notes to Tra My".

 

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Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 2003 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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