0 Nat King Cole’s place in Television History

It's the Fall season featuring lots of television program premiers.

In 1957, Nat King Cole, (1919-1965), became the first African American to host a nationwide network television program.

He was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and raised in Chicago. A legendary pop and jazz singer, Cole had many hits including "Mona Lisa," "Rambling Rose," and "The Christmas Song."

Sadly, during the 1950's, attracting commercial sponsorship to the Nat King Cole Show was a challenge for the producers. Though short lived on network television, Cole was a trailblazer preceding the many who have followed him.