top of page

Iowa History Daily: November 4 - Dolph Pulliam's 1-2-3

Iowa History Daily: On November 4, 1973, a newspaper feature touted “Dolph Pulliam’s 1-2-3,” a new children’s show airing in Des Moines. Starting in 1969, the former Drake basketball star arrived on Iowa’s airwaves as the first African-American radio and television broadcaster.

A standout out at Drake, Pulliam helped the Bulldogs to the most successful season in school history when the team made the 1969 NCAA Final Four. Starring for Coach Maury John on the hardwood, Pulliam also excelled in the classroom to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Speech with a minor in Radio and TV Broadcasting.

After graduation, Dolph started serving as a radio announcer for the Bulldogs while also breaking into local television. Serving as an anchor for the mid-day news, Pulliam also shined as a lovable presence on the Sunday morning program “Dolph Pulliam’s 1-2-3.” The show saw great success, and a similar noon-time program called “Dolph’s Cartoon Corner” started airing on weekdays.

While television moved away from localized programming in the 1980s, so did Pulliam. In 1989 he returned to Drake to join the staff of the marketing and promotions director before serving as the director of community outreach and development. Pulliam returned to the radio booth to broadcast Drake basketball from 2002-2013. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


bottom of page