The greater Washington area continues to mourn the loss of Gloria Murry Ford, 68, who died Aug. 12 following complications from surgery at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.
Gloria served as a member of the communications industry her entire adult life, from a roving news reporter with radio and TV stations in her native Wichita (KFH Radio, KFDI Radio and KARD-TV) to WJAR-TV in Providence, Rhode Island. From Providence, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1980 to work for CNN as their correspondent covering the South. She was one of the most prolific reporters covering the Missing and Murdered Children story, breaking news, for example, that microscopic evidence determined that the killer was Black.
While at CNN, she met CBS News reporter Sam Ford while both were on an airplane traveling to a story in Tampa, Florida. Since that day in 1980, they would be together – 41 years – until her death.
Gloria and Sam dated in Atlanta, married in Wichita in 1981 and shortly after a honeymoon in Zimbabwe, Africa, moved to Washington, D.C. Sam continued to work for CBS and he and Gloria added two children to the Ford and Murry clans, Murry Ford in 1983 and Gina Ford in 1985.
Gloria later returned to news reporting for the newly created Black Entertainment Television news division, covering a range of stories from the Democratic and Republican Conventions to hurricanes in the Caribbean.
Whenever she needed child care, she had very willing parents: Major and Norma Murry, who along with equally willing siblings, Yvonne Murry, Ray Murry and Rosalind Murry, cared for the young Murry-Ford children nearly every summer from infancy until they were teenagers who chose to stay in D.C.
Gloria moved beyond news reporting, serving for a year as news director of Turks and Caicos Television in the Caribbean. She and Sam frequently attended conventions of the National Association of Black Journalists of which he is a co-founder. In recent years, Gloria focused more on public relations, including the rollout and maintenance in D.C. of the Affordable Care Act and other government programs.
As a child, Gloria was part of a family gospel group, the Murry Trio, that included her sister Yvonne and brother Ray with their mother Norma on the keyboards. They were the opening act for big-name gospel stars like Mahalia Jackson and the Rev. James Cleveland when they performed in Wichita.
Gloria attended Wichita Public Schools and obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Kansas Newman University.
She and Sam liked to travel the world and take their children with them to places like Canada, France, Germany, Brazil and Hong Kong. She always said she wanted her children to be citizens of the world.
She touched many lives in her 68 years. So, we celebrate her life. She was preceded in death by her father Major Murry in 2019 and her sister Yvonne Murry in 2015.
In lieu of flowers, please make a “journalism scholarship” donation to the National Association of Black Journalists in honor of Gloria Murry Ford. Visit NABJ.org and click donate.
The funeral service will be at St James Missionary Baptist Church, 1350 N Ash St. in Wichita, Kansas at 1 p.m. CDT on August 21, 2021.