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Raymond D. Hurlbert (1902-1996) began his public broadcasting career in the early 1950s when he helped establish the Alabama Educational Television Network and the Alabama Educational Television Commission, becoming its first president from 1953 to 1955. In 1955, he served as general manager of the Alabama Educational Television Network. From 1962 to 1963, Hurlbert served on the television board of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB), including a stint as chair. He was also a member of the National Association of Educational Television and its president in 1968. Finally, his frequent testimony before Congressional committees on behalf of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 was influential in swaying political support for the measure.
The collection documents Hurlbert's work as general manager of the Alabama Educational Television Commission and its creation. It also documents Hurlbert's participation in Congressional hearings from 1958 to 1967.
There are no restricted files in this collection.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials page for more information.
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The Raymond D. Hurlbert papers document his work as General Manager of the Alabama Educational Television Commission and in particular its creation, and his participation in the legislative hearings concerning educational and then public broadcasting. This collection covers the period from 1953 to 1975. It contains articles, certificates of appreciation, clippings, correspondence, hearings, legislation, minutes, publications, speeches, and statements. Notable correspondents include William G. Harley, John C. Schwarzwalder, Chalmers H. Marquis, and Douglass Cater.
Raymond D. Hurlbert was born on March 21, 1902 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Ernest Sanford and Alice Lillian Jenkins Hurlbert. His parents moved to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1906. He received his B.A. from Birmingham Southern College in 1924. Upon graduation, Hurlbert took a position as a high school teacher in Birmingham. Meanwhile, he returned to Birmingham Southern College to study for a masters degree, completing his studies in 1936.
Prior to his association with public television, Hurlbert was elementary school principal in the Birmingham City School System from 1930 to 1955, and was Chairman of its Public Relations Committee. Meanwhile, he served as first President in 1948 and then Trustee in 1949 of the Alabama Educational Association. In addition, he was elected President of both the Birmingham Teachers Association and the Alabama Elementary Principals' Association.
Hurlbert's career in public broadcasting began in the early fifties when he set up the first state noncommercial television network, the Alabama Public Television Network. He also helped to establish the Alabama Educational Television Commission and was its first President from 1953 to 1955, when he became its first and only General Manager in 1955, retiring from his principal job in Birmingham. After twenty years in Alabama educational television, Hurlbert retired in March of 1973 to work as a consultant for R.P.I. Consultant Services.
Hurlbert also participated nationally in educational and public broadcasting. He served as the chairman of the Board of the ETV Division of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters from 1962 to 1963. He was also a member of the National Association of Educational Television (NAET), becoming its president in 1968.
Raymond Hurlbert played an important role in the national scene as well as in Alabama. President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized him for his significant role in the establishment and funding of National Educational Television. Furthermore, his frequent testimony before Congressional committees on behalf of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 was influential in swaying political support for the measure. Finally, for his work as the "father of Alabama ETV," Hurlbert was posthumously inducted into the Alabama Communications Hall of Fame in 2009.
Raymond D. Hurlbert died in 1996.
The collection consists of two series:
The Raymond D. Hurlbert papers were donated to the National Public Broadcasting Archives, University of Maryland Libraries by Raymond D. Hurlbert in June of 1991 and May of 1993.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives