COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – According to Charles E. Huff’s International Funeral Home, Inc. Mr. Glen Rutherford, also known as Glen Ford, 71, passed away on July 28, 2021, in New York City.
Rutherford was reading newswire copy on the air by age eleven. He took his first full-time job at singer James Brown’s Augusta, Georgia radio station WRDW in 1970. It was then that Rutherford began using the name Glen Ford, shortened by James Brown.
According to Huff’s, Ford (Rutherford) worked as a newsperson at four other local stations: in Columbus, Georgia; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD – where he created his first radio syndication, a half-hour weekly news magazine called “Black World Report” – and Washington, DC.
In 1974, he joined the Mutual Black Network (88 stations), where he served as Capitol Hill, State Department and White House correspondent, and Washington Bureau Chief, while also producing a daily radio commentary. Historic “firsts,” “mosts,” and “onlies” would become the hallmarks of Glen Ford’s long career.
In 1977, Glen co-launched, produced and hosted “America’s Black Forum” (ABF), the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. ABF made Black broadcast history. For the next four years, the program generated national and international headlines nearly every week. Never before – and never since – had a Black news entity commanded the weekly attention of the news services and the broadcast networks.
In 1987, Rutherford launched “Rap It Up,” the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. During its six years of operations, “Rap It Up” allowed him to play an important role in the maturation of a new African American musical genre. He organized three national rap music conventions, and wrote the Hip Hop column for Jack the Rapper’s Black radio trade magazine.
Ford got an early start in left politics, handing out political flyers with his mother when he was a young child. He later became a national political columnist for Encore American & Worldwide News magazine.
In 2002, he co-founded BlackCommentator.com. The weekly journal quickly became the most influential Black political site on the Internet. In October 2006, Ford (Rutherford) and the entire writing team left Black Commentator to launch Black Agenda Report, which he published weekly until his passing.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, August 7th at the Green Grove Cemetery located at 4062 Green Grove Road in Lumpkin, Georgia. The service begins at 12 p.m.
A memorial in New York City will be announced soon. There will be no public viewing.
Rutherford was born on November 5, 1949 in Jersey City, NJ, to the late Shirley (Smith) Rutherford and Wardell (Rudy “The Deuce”) Rutherford. Growing up, he split time between Jersey City and Columbus, GA, the hometown of his father – a famed disc jockey, and the first Black man to host a non-gospel television show in the Deep South.
For additional information, contact Charles Huff or Bruce Huff at the funeral home at 706-322-8713 or email us HuffsInternational@gmail.com