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Former Detroit TV anchor Karen Hudson-Samuels dies after taking vaccine

A former Detroit TV anchor and news director of WGPR-TV passed away last week, just a day after she received the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Karen Hudson-Samuels, 68, died on February 9, according to her husband, Cliff, who found his wife dead at their home. 

Cliff told CBS that the official cause of her death is still unknown, but ‘we suspect it may have just been a stroke but because of the normal side effects of the vaccine it may have masked that’. 

Her husband didn’t say which vaccine she was given, but he hopes to know more about the cause of her death from a pending autopsy report. 

Karen Hudson-Samuels (pictured), 68, a former anchor and news director of WGPR-TV passed away last week, just a day after she received the COVID-19 vaccine

Hudson-Samuels died on February 9, according to her husband, Cliff (pictured together), who found his wife dead at their home. Cliff said the official cause of her death is still unknown, but 'we suspect it may have just been a stroke'

Hudson-Samuels died on February 9, according to her husband, Cliff (pictured together), who found his wife dead at their home. Cliff said the official cause of her death is still unknown, but ‘we suspect it may have just been a stroke’ 

Hudson-Samuels was beloved by the Detroit community and being remembered as ‘an important figure’ in the city’s media history. 

‘She will long be remembered as a pioneer in giving Black Detroiters a voice in local media,’ Detroit Public TV wrote. 

Hudson-Samuels in 2016 helped establish the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum, which details the legacy of WGPR-TV 62, the first station owned and operated by African Americans in the US. 

The station was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Sites this month, a movement spearheaded by Hudson-Samuels. 

‘When this museum got into the national registry she was very, very proud,’ her husband, Cliff told CBS. 

Just last year, Hudson-Samuels was elected chairperson of the Detroit Historical Society’s Black Historic Sites Committee. Her career in broadcast journalism spanned more than four decades in Detroit.

During her time at WGPR-TV, Hudson-Samuels worked as an anchor, producer and news director.  

WWJ reporter, Vickie Thomas, remembered Hudson-Samuels as a ‘beautiful person’. 

Following the news of her death, tributes poured in for Hudson-Samuels (pictured)

Following the news of her death, tributes poured in for Hudson-Samuels (pictured)  

‘I mean it’s such a huge loss for this community,’ Thomas said. 

In a Facebook statement, the Detroit Historical Society shared: ‘We’re so sorry to mark the passing of Karen Hudson Samuels, chair of our Black Historic Sites Committee and executive director of the WGPR Historical Society. 

‘Incredibly passionate about preserving Black history in the Detroit region, Karen led countless museum programs, exhibitions and special projects.

‘Karen was kind, fiery, pointed and warm – a guide, an encourager and a true leader. 

‘Our deepest gratitude goes out to her for all of her work, along with condolences to her loved ones, colleagues and friends.’

The Detroit chapter of NABJ held a balloon release on Monday honoring Hudson-Samuels. Images showed a few dozen people releasing green balloons during the event

The Detroit chapter of NABJ held a balloon release on Monday honoring Hudson-Samuels. Images showed a few dozen people releasing green balloons during the event

Balloons are seen being released during a tribute to Hudson-Samuels on Monday

Balloons are seen being released during a tribute to Hudson-Samuels on Monday 

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) tweeted a tribute to Hudson-Samuels, saying: ‘May her positive impact live on!’

The Detroit chapter of NABJ held a balloon release on Monday honoring Hudson-Samuels. 

Images showed a few dozen people releasing green balloons during the event. 

A private service will be held on Friady and streamed online at 10am, according to her husband, Cliff.

The family is asking for donations to the WGPR-TV Historical Society in lieu of flowers.  


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