© 2023 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
IPM Pinwheel Banner for Header
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Podcast from WBUR in Boston discusses life of Winston Willis, prominent Cleveland businessman

Winston Willis and jazz legend Dizzie Gillespie at The Jazz Temple [Courtesy Gayle Photography/Willis Family Photographs]
Winston Willis and jazz legend Dizzie Gillespie at The Jazz Temple [Courtesy Gayle Photography/Willis Family Photographs]

Winston Willis. Have you heard the name?

Chances are the answer is 'no', and that's ok. In fact, it help illustrates the point for today's program.

Winston Willis was a prominent African American businessman, here in Cleveland, in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. He was wealthy, owned many properties on the city's east side, and employed hundreds of other Black Clevelanders. But in a flash, all of that disappeared.

His story has become the focus of a podcast from WBUR, Boston's NPR station. The podcast series 'Last Seen' specifically focuses on people, places, and things - that have gone missing including the story of Winston.

Today on the Sound of Ideas, we'll learn more about the story of Winston Willis, from producers involved in the 'Last Seen' podcast.

And maybe we'll glean more as to WHY his story has been at the least forgotten, ignored, or most likely, covered up.

Ajah Hales, a local writer and race educator joins us, as well as Nora Saks, a producer from WBUR who helped with the story.

"Searching for a miracle in Cleveland: The story of Winston Willis" From WBUR

- Ajah Hales, Writer, Race Educator and Host, “Last Seen” podcast

- Nora Saks, Podcast Producer, WBUR