From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Bannister, Frank T., Jr.

(born: 1932  -  died: 1986) 

Frank T. Bannister, Jr. was at one time a schoolteacher in Louisville, KY who later became a pollster with Jet magazine, compiling African American college football and basketball polls. Bannister was also a broadcaster who in 1976 became the first African American closed-circuit announcer for a heavy-weight championship fight: Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton. He was selected for the job by Top Rank Inc. executives Robert Arum and Butch Lewis.

Bannister, who had taught Ali when he was a student in Louisville, was a sportswriter and commentator. Born in Roanoke, VA, he was a graduate of Tuskegee University and earned a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts.

For more see "Jet pollster Bannister to call Ali-Norton fight," Jet, vol. 51, issue 2 (9/30/1976), p. 52; "The Pop Culture Legacy of Muhammad Ali" at; "Frank Bannister, 54 dies; sportscaster, educator," Jet, vol. 71, issue 8 (11/10/1986), p.  18; and Dr. Frank T. Bannister Jr at

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Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Ali, Muhammad [Cassius Clay]
NKAA Source: Jet (periodical)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bannister, Frank T., Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 20, 2023,

Last modified: 2021-04-30 15:48:06