Inga Rundvold (1920-2004) was an American broadcaster largely recognized as the First Lady of Washington, DC television.
Though born in Nordfjord, Norway, Ms. Rundvold grew up in the Washington, DC area. After graduating from Montgomery Blair High School, Ms. Rundvold enrolled in several business courses at George Washington University and later secured a job as a private secretary. But soon, Ms. Rundvold's tall, blond Nordic good looks allowed her to pursue a second career as a fashion model.
Originally taking modeling jobs only on her lunch hour, one of Ms. Rundvold's early assignments included posing with an exhibition on plastics for the US Department of Commerce. Later, she would move further up the modeling ladder and she would achieve national notice when she was one of three women who modeled the first official uniform for the US WACs.
In 1940, Ms. Rundvold joined the Harry Conover Modeling Agency and moved to New York to further pursue her modeling career. She returned to Washington in 1945 and was soon chosen to write a daily fashion column, "Beauty Forever," for the "Washington Times-Herald" newspaper. Ms. Rundvold's photo appeared everyday beside her byline and as a gimmick for the column, Inga was photographed everyday for five years in a different hat. Ms. Rundvold joined WRC-TV (DC's NBC affiliate) in 1950. During her 17 years with the station, she would act as originator, producer, writer, researcher, promoter and host of such programs as "Inga's Angle," "Today with Inga," "Afternoon with Inga" (broadcast from the Sheraton Park Hotel) and "Beauty School." Her telecasts were a mix of fashion and beauty tips combined with cooking segments, exercise segments, and decorating and marriage advice as well as one-on-one interviews with celebrities and experts in various fields. Over the years Ms. Rundvold interviewed such show biz personalities as Bob Hope, Carol Channing, Danny Kaye, Milton Berle and such political figures as the Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
Along with being omnipresent on the DC airwaves, Ms. Rundvold was active throughout her career in community affairs. She chaired the annual Cherry Blossom Festival for several years, worked on behalf of the March of Dimes, and other causes. In 1961, Ms. Rundvold "lent" her face to the US Information Agency to be used for a character in a cartoon called "Visit to America."
In the late 1960s, Ms. Rundvold created, produced and hosted the show "Let's Go Places" which aired over WRC on Sunday mornings. A travelogue series, it featured Inga and her family traveling to such faraway places as the Philippines, Iceland, and Yugoslavia.
Ms. Rundvold married prominent DC attorney Lester J. Hook in 1943. He died in 1981. They had one child, a daughter, Ingrid. In 1984, she married John J. Kuhn, who passed away in 1997.
Ms. Rundvold died in 2004.