Gayle King speaks about her Journalist Icon Award, curious nature and ever-growing career

The following is a transcript of the video below.

TheGrio’s Marc Lamont Hill speaks with CBS News’ Gayle King preceding “A Seat at The Table” gala (also known as “Byron Allen Presents the Washington, DC Gala”) where King was honored with the Journalist Icon Award.

The gala followed the White House Correspondents’ dinner last month and was held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Marc Lamont Hill [00:00:07] Everybody. I am here with the legendary Gayle King. It’s so good to see you!

Gayle King [00:00:11] Legendary. Mark, that sounds so old.

Hill [00:00:13] It is not old!

(Left to right) Marc Lamont Hill and Gayle King discuss her icon status during Byron Allen’s “A Seat at the Table” gala where King was honored with the Journalist Icon Award on April 29, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Screengrab: Byron Allen Presents A Seat at the Table)

King [00:00:13] And I’m so glad to be here. I’m so glad.

Hill [00:00:16] You are here because, one, because you love theGrio and you support all kinds of awesome stuff.

King [00:00:20] Yes, yes, yes.

Hill [00:00:21] But you also got this theGrio legendary award or Journalist Icon Award.

King [00:00:26] I know the word. The “i” word kind of scares me.

Hill [00:00:28] Why?

King [00:00:29] Well, because I don’t see myself that way. I look at other people like Diana Ross is performing. She’s an icon.

Hill [00:00:34] She is an icon.

King [00:00:35] I don’t even think I’m in that same category. I still feel I still have so much to do, so much to learn, so much more to grow. That said, I’m very flattered that, you know, Byron called me. I’m very flattered that I’m even being considered, to tell you the truth. Well, here I am.

Hill [00:00:49] Well, I can tell you from our perspective, we love what you bring to the table. We love the stories you tell and we love the questions you ask. Have you always said that natural instinct to sort of ask that extra question?

King [00:00:59] You know. It’s so funny you should say that, because when I was in elementary school, I got a note home that said, “Dear Mr. & Mrs. King, Gayle is a very bright child but she tends to be talkative in class and is…” She didn’t use the word disruptive, but it was something that meant disruptive. And I got in big trouble and I was always told that I was a nosy kid I prefer to use the word inquisitive and curious.

Hill [00:01:26] Yes, those are great words.

King [00:01:27] That is not a negative thing. No. So from the time I was in elementary school, I guess I did ask a lot of questions and drive people crazy.

Hill [00:01:34] She was a journalist icon in training and now it has come to fruition tonight.

King [00:01:39] And she’s still very curious and still very inquisitive. I still love this job. I still love this job, Mark. Think about this. I sit here at 68. Walter Cronkite had to retire at 65.

Hill [00:01:52] Wow!

King [00:01:52] At CBS, he didn’t even have a choice. I’m not even kind of thinking about retiring.

Hill [00:01:57] You’re adding more things to the plate.

King [00:01:58] I’m looking to do more stuff.

Hill [00:01:59] Yes! That’s a beautiful. Thing.

King [00:02:01] May we all never lose that. That you get up and say, God, look at the job I get to do and and loving doing it. Maya Angelou said to me once, “Success is loving what you do, loving who you are and loving how you do it.”

Hill [00:02:14] I like that.

King [00:02:15] Isn’t that good?

Hill [00:02:15] That is good.

King [00:02:17] That’s how I feel.

Hill [00:02:18] Wow. Yes. Well, look, I’m [going to] let you get into the party. You work very hard. You get to unwind a little bit. We’re honored to have you here.

King [00:02:26] I’m so glad to see you. Glad to see you, too. So good. And I’ve watched you a long time.

Hill [00:02:31] And that makes me feel old!

King [00:02:32] I would send you emails, and guess what? He would never respond. But that’s OK.

Hill [00:02:35] I didn’t know it was THE Gayle King! You know you get emails!

King [00:02:38] Oh how many Gayle Kings do you know? How many Gayle Kings do you know spelled: “G-A-Y-L-E”?

Hill [00:02:43] Those are hard-hitting questions.

King [00:02:45] Stop it!

(Left to right ) Marc Lamont Hill listens as Gayle King talks about her curious nature, among other things, during Byron Allen’s “A Seat at the Table” gala where King was honored with the Journalist Icon Award on April 29, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Richard Chapin Downs Jr./Getty Images)

Hill [00:02:45] I’m going to — I’ll go to bow out. I’ve seen the worst. Thank you so much.

King [00:02:48] Thank you. Thank you.

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