1999 Inductee

Jack Sharpe is the man who transformed traffic reporting into a nationwide broadcast staple. His long, path-finding career at WEBR Radio began in 1952 and was deftly grounded in news, sports, information and public service, but was spectacularly keynoted by his launching of the area’s first Trafficopter, a Bell 47G-2, in 1959. He was the nation’s second airborne traffic reporter (the first, at Chicago’s WGN-AM, crashed to his death that same year.) Nicknamed “The Eye in the Sky,” Sharpe was a catch-phrase artist himself, christening the “Humboldt Hourglass” and coining the term “gapers’ block.” He triggered many other TV and radio stations across the U.S. to use helicopters to cover news on a regular basis. After retiring from the chopper in 1974, Sharpe went on to a successful political career.

Share this post on: