TULSA, Oklahoma -- Former KOTV and KTUL news personality and state lawmaker Betty Boyd died early Thursday morning of complications from a previous stroke.
Boyd, who was 86, started her TV career hosting a daily women's show on KOTV. It was a time when everything about TV was new, unchartered and live.
"And what I did the first day was toss my cookies," Boyd once said. "Because I was so scared. Because the first day was a live show. Everything was live."
Margaret Elizabeth Carman Boyd was born in 1924 and was a life-long Tulsa resident. She graduated from Tulsa Central High School and attended the University of Tulsa as well as Iowa State University.
During World War II, her husband William Boyd served in the Army Air Corps as a pilot, and Betty worked at the Tulsa Bomber Plant.
She made her first live television appearance on KOTV in 1955, becoming a pioneer of women in broadcast journalism. She hosted several shows including "Women's Page" and "Boyd's Eye View."
"KOTV gave me a wonderful opportunity and bless their hearts, I don't know why they did it," she once said. "Because I had no training, no talent. I didn't have anything but a grey streak in my hair, and I guess they thought that was cute. I'm not sure."
She was also a published author of two books: "Travels in My Green Country and Beyond," and "If I Could Sing, I'd Be Dangerous."
A breast cancer survivor, education advocate and public servant, Betty Boyd left television in 1980 to become the Director of Information Services for Tulsa County Area Vocational-Technical School District.
She was asked to run for the Oklahoma House of Representatives at age 65 and was elected in 1990 as a Democrat representing House District 23. She served through 2000 for a total of five terms.
Betty Boyd was the first civilian woman to be catapulted from a U.S. aircraft carrier and the first great-grandmother to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
She was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 1996 and received an American Women in Radio and Television Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
In recent years she was a commercial spokesperson for several businesses including Clear-Tone hearing aids and Tulsa Gold and Silver.
She was married for more than 50 years to William W. Boyd, Jr. They had a daughter, Beverlie, and a son, Barry.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Kennedy Kennard Funeral Home in Broken Arrow.
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