James C. Leake
OAB Hall of Fame
Oklahoma born and bred...James C. Leake’s roots were planted in Oklahoma by his grandfather in the land run of 1891. Proud of his Oklahoma roots, he was raised on a farm outside of Chandler, attended the University of Oklahoma and devoted a lifetime of service to state charitable and community organizations and the broadcast industry.
Mr. Leake started his broadcast career with his father-in-law’s radio stations -- KTUL, Tulsa and KOMA, Oklahoma City -- in the mid-40’s. He enttered television in 1953 when he and his partner, John T. Griffin, put three stations on the air in nine months. The stations were KATV, Little Rock, Arkansas; KWTV, Oklahoma City and KTVX (KTUL), Tulsa.
From 1969 to 1983, he was the Chairman of Leake Industries, Inc., and the owner of KATV and KTUL-TV. Both were dominate stations in their markets and among the leading network stations in the country.
During his tenure as owner of KTUL-TV, the station received the American Heritage Award for the production of “The Gilcrease Story,” The Chicago Film Festival Award for the “E.W. Marland Story,” a segment of the History of Oil in Oklahoma series; and the Edward R. Murrow Award for the documentary, “The Five Civilized Tribes: Unfinished Journey.”
Numerous Oklahoma organizations have been the benefactors of his time, talent and generosity. He has been prominent leader in the growth and development of The Will Rogers Memorial, The Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Green Country Association, Five Civilized Tribes Museum and the Oklahoma Air and Space Museum. He is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
An Oklahoman first in heart, soul and mind...James C. Leake.