Monica Kaufman Pearson is the first woman and first minority to anchor the daily evening news in Atlanta, Georgia, where she worked for 37 years at the leading station, WSB-TV. She has won over 33 Southern Regional and local Emmy Awards for reporting, anchoring and her Closeups celebrity interview show. When she retired, she was honored on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by the bipartisan delegation of the State of Georgia for her years of service on and off the air to improve the lives of the citizens of Georgia.
Since retiring in 2012, she’s stayed busy. She graduated with a Master’s Degree, Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2014. Until recently, she wrote a column, Monica Matters, for the quarterly magazine, Southern Seasons and taught at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. She is a much sought after emcee and motivational speaker and hosts a three-hour weekly music and talk show on Sunday on KISS 104.1 FM, an R&B station, as well as does Closeups Interviews for WSBTV.com. She also is one of three hosts of the Georgia Public Broadcasting show, A Seat at the Table, GPB.org/ASATT. Recently she has become a radio spokesperson, representing Casteel Heating, Air, Plumbing and Electrical, Vein Atlanta, Hoffman Financial Group, Stone Mountain Park, and Loud Security Systems. On TV, she represented Kroger Company and represents Montlick and Associates and Emory Healthcare.
Monica is a native of Louisville, KY, growing up in the Smoketown neighborhood. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville. She participated in the Summer Program for Minority Groups at Columbia University in 1969. She was a reporter for the Louisville Times newspaper and a reporter and weekend anchor for WHAS TV in Louisville. And briefly worked in public relations at Brown- Forman.
Monica was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in August 2016. She also is in the University of Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. She serves as board member emeritus of Meals on Wheels Atlanta. In May of 2015, she chaired the Go Red for Women Luncheon of the America Heart Association and now serves on the Executive Leadership Council. Monica was the first African-American and second woman to serve as Chairperson of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. Currently she serves on the Board of Jurors for the prestigious Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia and is a 2016 University of Georgia Grady Fellow. Monica also has received an alumni fellows award from The University of Louisville.
She is a 52-year member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the nation’s first black sorority for women, which awarded her the Presidential Vanguard Award in 2016. In 2018, the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA presented Monica with the Pat Summitt Inspiring Woman Award. Monica is a member of The Junior League of Atlanta and Sisters of Promise of Susan G. Komen. She is a breast cancer and liver cancer survivor.
Monica has received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from Atlanta University, now named Clark Atlanta University; Oglethorpe University; American Bible University and a Doctor of Public Service from Young Harris College.
She is married to John E. Pearson, Sr., is the mother of Claire Patrice Deveaux and step-mother of John E. Pearson, II.