“I know few nationally prominent Oklahomans who are such boosters of the State; proud of their birthplace, and so unaffected by success as Hartz.”
James Leroy “Jim” Hartz graduated from Tulsa Central High School and the University of Tulsa before he started with KOME Radio in Tulsa in 1958. He worked for Tulsa radio station KRMG and television station KOTV before joining WNBC-TV in New York as the 11:00 p.m. news anchor. He ultimately spent 15 years with NBC and 14 years with PBS. He co-hosted the “The Today Show” on NBC with Barbara Walters from 1974 to 1977 and was anchor for WCR-TV in Washington, D.C. before hosting “Over Easy” with Mary Martin and “Innovations” for PBS. Hartz was awarded five Emmys throughout his career: as a correspondent during the 1973 Middle East War; coverage of the Apollo Moon Flights; exposé of dangerous material in children’s tents; a documentary “Hold for Justice”; and for Best Anchorman in New York City. Hartz was the first reporter to fly in the U-2 Spy Plane and the F-15 Eagle and has written articles for National Geographic and Reader’s Digest, in which he became the first reporter to fly in the SR-71 Spy Plane. His public service included hosting numerous telethons for charity, spokesman for United Way, and taping several historical discussion segments in conjunction with “Oklahoma Passage.” Governor Henry Bellmon appointed Hartz to the Will Rogers Memorial Commission and, in 1993, Governor David Walters appointed him chairman of that committee. In 2005, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
In 1994, Hartz was inducted as the first member of the University of Tulsa Communication Hall of Fame.
Hartz was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.