Pioneering broadcaster Ronald Davenport Sr. will be among five distinguished Pittsburghers recognized next month at a gala dinner for their exceptional contributions to the history of Western Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world. The Senator John Heinz History Center presents its 20th Annual History Makers Award Dinner on Friday, April 13th.
Davenport arrived in Pittsburgh in 1963 to become a law professor at Duquesne University in 1963. He later made history when he was named dean at the law school, becoming the first African-American dean of a major law school. But another career was yet to follow.
Davenport bought some radio stations in 1972 and began what became Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), which continues to this day.
In 1991, SBC’s Sheridan Broadcasting Networks (SBN) came together with National Black Network to form American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). SBC also owns and operates three radio stations in Atlanta, Buffalo, NY and Birmingham, AL; Sheridan Production Services and the 24/7 Sheridan Gospel Network.
Ron Davenport was inducted into the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
The History Center will honor Davenport for his contributions to the region and the nation at the award dinner April 13. Other honorees this year include Jackie Evancho, Chip Ganassi, Michael Fisher and Stephen Tritch.