Mildred Carter owns the oldest Black radio station in the United States. Mildred's late husband, Andrew, bought KPRS-AM after many unsuccessful attempts to get a license. It was with the help of Missouri's Governor Landon that he was finally able to obtain a license and purchase the radio station in 1950. During the next ten years, Andrew was able to move the station to Kansas City where KPRS-AM became KPRS-FM/KPFT-AM.
Meanwhile Mildred was working with a public relations/promotion firm that brought prominent Black entertainers into the Kansas City area. She knew of Andrew but did not meet him until 1960. They met at a dinner party and were married five months later. Andrew immediately brought Mildred into the broadcasting business, teaching her most of what she knows today.
Mildred has always been involved in the Black causes of the day. She remembers marching on picket lines in the South and bringing the bread line to Kansas City. KPRS-FM has maintained top status in the marketplace by giving the people the kind of music they want to hear. Mildred has had many opportunities to sell the station but has kept it in the family because that is what her late husband would have wanted.
Mildred and Andrew moved to Florida when he became ill in 1970. Between 1971 and 1988 she spent many tearful years running the station out of Florida. At one point she spent 11 months away from her husband until she found the right station manager. She is proud to say that with the exception of one, all of the managers were Black. KPRS is now run by her grandson, Michael Carter. Mildred still takes an active interest in the station and is thankful that she is able to function at 81 years of age. They are both looking forward to the dedication ceremony of their new building.
Mildred still resides in Florida where she serves on the board of the Cape Canaveral Hospital and is affiliated with the local Chamber of Commerce. She has received many awards during her career. Recent awards include the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters Award and she was voted one of the Most Outstanding Black Women by Good Morning America.
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