Kenneth Rabb Giddens 1908-1993

ABA Hall of Fame Class of 2009

Kenneth Giddens was born in Pine Apple, Alabama in 1908. He attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now known as Auburn University) in 1928, studying architecture before graduating in 1931. Mr. Giddens used his newfound knowledge in the creation of a chain of movie theaters spanning three states, which would become the foundation of his journey into the young broadcasting industry.

Kenneth's interest in broadcasting peaked when buying radio advertisements for his Giddens & Rester theaters. Giddens and his family would start up Mobile's new broadcast operation WKRG-TV, Inc. in 1946. Under Giddens' direction, radio station WKRG went on the air on September 26, 1946, followed by WKRG-FM in 1947, and WKRG-TV on September 5, 1955.

While in Mobile, Giddens partnered in the construction of the city's first air-conditioned enclosed shopping mall called Bel Air Mall. Giddens contributions to broadcasting and his fellow man would not end in southwest Alabama and its surrounding areas, but continue in Washington, D.C. as the new director of the Voice of America starting in September 1969 until April 1977. Giddens also served as president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association and the National Broadcasters Association, where he was also part of its international committee. After Kenneth's death on May 7, 1993, the Giddens family continued his broadcast legacy until both the radio and television divisions of WKRG were sold off later in the 1990s.

Architect and General Contractor
Director, Voice of America and Assistant Director, United States Information Agency, 1969-77
Director, Radio Marti (Cuba) for United States State Department
President, Alabama Broadcasters Association, 1960-62
Director, Federal Reserve Bank, New Orleans, 1961-67
Director, First National Bank of Mobile
Director, National Association of Broadcasters, 1964-65
Director, CBS Affiliate Board, District four representative
Director, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Georgetown University

Civil Service:
President, Mobile Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1937-38
Director, Child Day Care Center, 1947
Director, Downtown Mobile Unlimited, Inc.
Trustee, Mobile YMCA, 1958-65
Trustee, Town Meeting Association
Trustee, Mobile County Chapter of The American Red Cross
Trustee, Joe Jefferson Players
Trustee, Mobile Infirmary, 1960-69
Director, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
Director, Mobile Council Navy League of the United States
Director, Better Business Bureau, 1964