As a broadcaster, Lee Thomas' career started on "Channel One" News, a national news program for teenagers based in New York City. While with "Channel One", Lee covered the Oscars, interview orbiting astronauts and was on the ground reporting during the LA riots of 1991. In 1994 Lee was hired as the entertainment and feature reporter for ABC's flagship local affiliate, WABC 7, the number one station in NYC where he established himself as an engaging entertaining reporter. From there he was off to Detroit as a weekend anchor and entertainment reporter at WJBK TV.
The Motor City is home. While in Detroit, Lee has won four Emmy Awards and an Associated Press Award. He is currently an anchor, host, movie critic and a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), African American Film Critic Association, National Association of Black Journalist, National Speaker Association (NSA) and The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artist (SAG-AFTRA). Lee is the Co-founder of the Vstrong Vitiligo Support Community and the international spokesperson for The Vitiligo Society Of London.
Early in his career, Lee was diagnosed with vitiligo, an autoimmune disease that destroys the skin's pigment. As a television broadcaster that could mean disaster, but he found a way to not only survive but to thrive. Lee says, "The thing that I thought would be a show stopper, turned out to be the biggest challenge and blessing in my life." Over the years, Lee has been featured on various TV, radio and social media outlets around the world. Lee's award-winning memoir "Turning White" has sold thousands of copies and counting.
His simple description of his life and his look, "Shockingly beautiful!"
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In his thought-provoking memoir, Turning White, Emmy Award-winning TV broadcaster Lee Thomas shares the physical and mental battle he is waging with vitiligo — a skin disorder that is literally turning him white.
At age 25, Thomas had a dream job in a dream city — a feature/entertainment reporter for the ABC network’s flagship TV station in New York. Then he discovered a few white spots on his scalp, the small beginnings of a disease that has spread to half his face — a fact he covers with makeup when on camera.
As someone in the very public eye, vitiligo has transformed not only Thomas’ color, but his life. “Even people who have known me for years avoid eye contact when they see my face without makeup for the first time,” he writes.