Jack Willis is an award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker, television producer and executive.
His documentaries on race, poverty and other major social issues have been widely distributed in America and Europe and won many awards including seven Emmys, the George Polk Award for Investigative Journalism and the First Amendment Award.
Two of his films, The Streets of Greenwood (1963, with Fred Wardenburg and John Reavis) about voting rights in Mississippi, and Lay My Burden Down (1966), about the plight of black sharecroppers in the rural south a year after passage of the Voting Rights Act, still resonate today. As does his independent documentary, with Saul Landau, Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang,(1979) about the government cover up of the fatal effects of the Nevada nuclear bomb tests on military personnel and civilians living downwind from the tests.
He has created and produced many award winning series including the Emmy-award winning news show The 51st State for WNET/13. He was Co-Executive Producer of PBS’ groundbreaking, Emmy winning show The Great American Dream Machine, and the Emmy-winning series City Within a City, a documentary which was widely credited with helping to achieve passage of Milwaukee’s Open Housing Law.
He has produced films for CBS News as well as The Human Animal series, with Phil Donahue, for NBC.
With his wife, Mary, he has written several highly rated network movies and co-authored the book But There Are Always Miracles.
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