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Black History Maker: Roosevelt Toston, the first Black news anchor in Las Vegas' history

Roosevelt Toston, the first Black anchor in Las Vegas
Posted at 8:55 PM, Feb 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 23:30:12-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Roosevelt Toston is the first African American to present the news on local television in Las Vegas.

Born in a small town in Louisiana, Toston packed his bags and headed west at the age of 17.

"I always had a dream that I was going to do something magnificent, when I was in the cotton fields, and I was telling my sister working alongside me that one day I was going to become famous," Toston said.

That day came when he saw an ad in the local paper, and a local news director took a chance on the 28-year-old dreamer.

After nearly three years behind the scenes at Channel 3, his time there ended. But Toston wasn't done with TV just yet. He found his place as an on-air personality at Channel 8.

In 1973, Toston became the first Black anchor on local news in Las Vegas' history.

By 1975, Toston said goodbye to local news and "hello" to a new career bringing business to Las Vegas.

"I spent 28 years with [the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority," he said. "It was the best job I ever had, selling Las Vegas, and I've traveled to six continents promoting Las Vegas."

He also played a key role in bringing Black conventions to the valley for the first time. In a way, Roosevelt Toston is Black history personified.

"It's divine intervention. I feel like I'm living my purpose," he said. "There is no way a guy comes from a small town like I did and comes to Las Vegas and becomes a news reporter, and anchor man, travels the world promoting Las Vegas — and it's just amazing."

Read more about Las Vegas' Black history makers like Roosevelt Toston at ktnv.com/blackhistorymonth.