Leon Bibb has nearly 40 years experience as a television journalist in Cleveland. He is currently working as a senior reporter and commentator for WKYC-TV3. He began his career at that NBC television station in 1979 and worked there for 16 years before moving to WEWS-TV5, the ABC station in Cleveland, where he worked for 22 years. At both television stations, Bibb served as a news anchor and a reporter for all the major newscasts.
In 2018, he re-joined WKYC-TV where, although in semi-retirement, he serves as a senior reporter and commentator, offering his viewpoints on the passing scene.
Before his career in Cleveland television, Bibb worked as a news anchor and reporter in Columbus and Toledo and as a reporter for the Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland. He is a graduate of the School of Journalism at Bowling Green State University where he also studied Radio-TV-Film in the graduate school.
Bibb has covered stories throughout Ohio on a regular basis. He has also covered many national stories including the Persian Gulf War when he was embedded with an Ohio-based U.S. Coast Guard unit. In 2011, Leon interviewed President Barack Obama in a one-on-one conversation at the White House. He has also interviewed President George H.W. Bush in the White House and interviewed Neil Armstrong 10 years after the historic walk on the moon.
In 1978, Bibb interviewed James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Tennessee prison where Ray was held. It is believed to be Ray’s only interview with a local television news reporter. Nominated many times for local Emmy awards, Bibb has received the Emmy six times for his news reports.
Among his many stories has been a series of more than 300 pieces entitled “My Ohio with Leon Bibb,” which was about interesting people, places and things in the state. Bibb has had a passion for journalism since he was in elementary school. He is in the halls of fame of the following organization:
- Cleveland Press Club
- Cleveland Association of Broadcasters
- Sigma Delta Chi Journalism Honorary
- Ohio Association of Broadcasters
- National Association of Black Journalists, Local Region
- Bowling Green State University School of Journalism
- Glenville High School (Cleveland)
- Cleveland Metropolitan School District
From 1996 to 2005, Bibb served on the board of trustees of Bowling Green State University, having been appointed to the position by Ohio Governor George Voinovich. In his last year on the University’s board of trustees, Bibb served as chairman. For more than two decades, Bibb has served on the advisory board of the Greater Cleveland Salvation Army, often lending his voice to the cause of the organization. For his entire time working in Cleveland television, Bibb has visited schools throughout Northeast Ohio where he has been a motivational speaker for students from elementary grades through college.
He has also been a popular guest in the pulpit of many churches, which have asked him to deliver a Sunday address.
Always interested in working in behalf of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution -- with emphasis on the importance of freedom of speech and of the press -- Bibb is currently one of the vice presidents of the Greater Cleveland Association of Black Journalists.
Bibb is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He served a full tour of duty in the war in Vietnam where he was awarded the military’s Bronze Star Medal for his service. Over the years, Bibb has been a popular speaker at U.S. military and Memorial Day events.
When he is not working in journalism, Bibb is often in the world of theater. He has starred in several location productions of “Same Time Next Year,” “Love Letters,” “War of the Worlds,” “God’s Trombone,” “Modern Warrior” and “A Soldier’s Play.” He starred in the feature film “Made in Cleveland,” which was released in 2013.
Bibb is also an author and performer in his own one-man live production, “Burning Leaves,” which is filled with his own original poetry and storytelling ability. He has been awarded the Zora Neal Hurston award presented by the National Association of Black Storytellers.
He is a singer with both the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Chorus and the Greater Cleveland Pan-Hellenic Choir, both of which raise funds for their charitable causes.
Bibb has also served as a popular narrator with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Akron Symphony Orchestra where he performed “A Lincoln Portrait,” “Peter and the Wolf” and “The Life of John Brown.”
He has also worked onstage with many local jazz groups where he offered his words and voice chronicling the history of jazz and the impact the music has had on the world. Bibb is currently working on his memoirs, which will detail many aspects of his years growing up in Cleveland and his work as a journalist. As well, he is working on a novel involving themes of romance and jazz music.
In 2010, Bibb was the subject of an Ohio University graduate student’s thesis. “Leon Bibb: Pioneer in Broadcasting History” highlighted his life. He was also interviewed by the national group “HistoryMakers,” which produces oral histories on the lives of black Americans who have made significant contributions to society and to their chosen professions. The on-camera interview was four hours long and chronicled Bibb's life from birth to the present day. The HistoryMakers maintains the largest collection of African-American oral histories of its type.
Bibb is a popular speaker on a variety of issues involving the local community. He also serves as an usher in the church to which he and his wife, Marguerite, are members.
He and Marguerite are the parents of two grown daughters and are grandparents. Bibb is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
Contact Leon Bibb at email@example.com and follow him on Facebook.