Local Man 1st to Broadcast News of JFK's Death

11-19-03 - It's been 40 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas but did you know it was a local broadcaster who first delivered the news that the President was dead?

Eddie Barker has a morning talk radio show on Paris AM station KPLT. But in 1963, he was the most well known TV newsman in Dallas. On November 22nd, he was at the Dallas Trademart where he was broadcasting live and waiting for the President to arrive.

Kennedy never made it to the Trademart. At 1:11 p.m., more than 20 minutes before official confirmation, Barker broadcast the news after a doctor and friend who worked at Parkland Hospital whispered in his ear that the President was dead.

Today, Barker lives in Delta County and is writing a book. But he says that day 40 years ago is still the pinnacle of his broadcasting career. Barker’s book is titled, "Eddie Barker's notes" and comes out after the first of the year. Saturday is the 40th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination.