Paul Berry was born in the city of Detroit on February 15, 1944. He was raised by his grandmother Annie M. Talley – to whom he was the oldest of 54 grandchildren. She saw him as her second chance to be an even better parent and instill the drive and discipline into her grandson that would one day make him successful. He, on the other hand, adored her and saw her as the guiding light to his endeavors, along with being the most industrious woman despite lacking any kind of formal education.
Coming from a relatively poor environment, Paul was taught how to cook, clean, and iron and regularly attended church – a product of his grandmother’s old fashioned parenting. But despite being old fashioned, she instilled in him something that would come to serve as a great asset in the future: the drive, tenacity and thoroughness of endeavor.
His story starts with is his first brave decision to go out on his own and make his life according to his image. Looking for structure and direction, Paul joined the US Air Force at 16. He dreamt of becoming a pilot but due to his youth, he instead got assigned to the nursing corps school. His first tour in the Air Force was over by the time he was 20 years old, but he signed up for a second one where he accomplished his goal of flying and got a chance to sign up for the Armed Forces Radio and TV Service, after which he was sent to South Vietnam.
When he came back home to Detroit, a friend alerted him to an opening at Chanel 7 and he was hired by the ABC affiliate on the spot. This was his first major break in broadcasting, and he worked hard to prove himself as the best reporter and anchor in Detroit. This opened up an opportunity in the nation’s capital, and he took a job in Washington DC as an anchor and reporter for WJLA-TV’s 5, 6, and 11pm newscasts, becoming an integral part of the District scene.
Today, Paul Berry is the host of his own nationally syndicated weekly radio show, Home & Family Finance(s), on Sundays at 3pm Eastern on the Radio America Network.
Beyond his professional endeavors Paul Berry became involved in charity and community service endeavors, serving as a Trustee on the board of Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC, The Neediest Kids Inc., The Washington Jesuit Academy, the Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. His understanding of the American Dream is that the creativity and productivity it embodies should be stimulated, and thus he was directly involved in helping sponsor 60 academically deserving minority high school students to attend private schools through his Paul Berry Academic Scholarship Foundation.
His hard work, involvement with the community, and contribution to his profession has been rewarded numerous times. Along with nine local Emmys, Paul Berry received the 1986 Humanitarian Award of the National Martin Luther King, Jr., Student Leadership Conference in recognition of his long record of community involvement, particularly as a role model of Washington area youth. In 1989, Paul received both the Mid-Atlantic Professional Golfers’ Association -Citizens Award and the Olender Foundation “Generous Heart Award.” Washingtonian Magazine named Berry “Washingtonian of the Year” in 1991. He won the 1993 Capital Region Emmy Award for Outstanding News Anchor, and in 1994, Paul was voted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences “Silver circle” in recognition of his 25 years of contributions to Washington Television.
In his own words, his biggest accomplishment is his family – his wonderful wife Amy and his three children Talley (named after Paul’s grandmother), Hudson and Paul. All of his professional and personal successes have stemmed from one place, and that is his work ethic and his ability to dream big.