Lisa Thomas-Laury joined WPVI (Channel 6) on February 20, 1978, as the noon co-anchor and reporter. In 1983, she became co-anchor of the 5 pm weekday edition of ACTION NEWS, and a substitute anchor for Jim Gardner at 6 and 11 pm.
Throughout the 1980's and 90's, Lisa hosted WPVI's award-winning monthly Public Affairs program, "Fast Forward," and its "Children First" series, as well as special events such as the annual 6ABC/Boscov's Thanksgiving Parade, and channel 6's yearly "Best of the Class" special, which pays tribute to the tri-state's outstanding high school seniors.
Lisa earned her B.A. Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. While attending Marshall, she became the state's first African-American TV weather personality, reporting the weekend weather for WSAZ-TV.
After graduation, Lisa became a morning news anchor/reporter/photographer for KTVY-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her professional abilities then took her to WTVF-TV in Nashville, where she was education reporter and received the Tennessee "School Bell Awards" for her education series on the gifted child.
In her early years at Channel 6, Lisa was recognized for her special series on hard-to-adopt children, and she placed first in an Associated Press competition for her special Thanksgiving series, "Five Families Give Thanks." In 1981, Lisa received high praise for her week-long reports from London, England on Princess Diana's Wedding.
Lisa has covered numerous political elections and the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000. She has also received numerous community service awards, including one from the local chapter of the Negro Professional and Business Women's Association, the United States Jaycees, and American Women in Radio and Television.
She was honored by the Camden County YWCA as a TWIN award recipient for her outstanding accomplishments, and was the 1996 recipient of the prestigious "Sarah Award," presented to outstanding women in the media by the local chapter of Women in Communications. Lisa was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Holy Family College in 2000. In 2003, she was named Best TV Anchorwoman by the Main Line Times, the same year, she was diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder, called POEMS syndrome.
Lisa left WPVI in November 2003 after her illness paralyzed her vocal chords, leaving her unable to project her voice. In 2004, she received the "Braveheart Award" from the local chapter of the NAACP, for her dedication to her work and community, despite her illness.
Lisa underwent a bone marrow transplant at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in July, 2004 and returned to Channel six as a reporter and anchor two years later. She is currently an honorary chairperson for Maternity Care Coalition, an organization that supports mothers in need throughout the Delaware Valley.
She was awarded Philadelphia's most prestigious honor, the Liberty Bell Award, from the Mayor's Commission on People with Disabilities in 2008. The Commission cited her devotion to improving the lives of people in the Delaware Valley, who live with disabilities.
In 2009, Lisa was awarded an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from both Rosemont College in Montgomery County and Peirce College in Center City. Also in 2009, Lisa received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. On Friday, November 20, 2009, Lisa Thomas-Laury was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's "Hall of Fame."
She is married to Dr. William Laury, a Philadelphia internist. Her oldest son, Langston, graduated from Brown University in Providence, RI, in 2005. Her younger son, Leland, is a 2008 graduate of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo and bio originally donated by WPVI-TV, 6ABC
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