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Hall of Fame 1992

Helen Duhamel

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Helen Duhamel was born November 26, 1904 in Windsor, Missouri, moving with her family to Nebraska when she was two years old. She was raised on a ranch on the White River north of Chadron. She attended schools at St. Mary's in O'Neill and St. Agnes Academy in Alliance.

She moved to Rapid City, South Dakota with her mother in 1920 and married Bud Duhamel in 1924.
During the depression, she became the bookeeper of the Duhamel Company and saved the firm from bankruptcy.

She later purchased stock in a radio station (KOBH) in Rapid City which became KOTA. In 1954, Helen purchased the remaining stock. The following year she constructed the second television station in South Dakota, KOTA-TV.

A group of rural folks approached Helen about bringing TV service to the Nebraska panhandle. And, she started KDUH-TV in Hay Springs, Nebraska. In 1981, she moved the station to Scottsbluff. duhamel Broadcasting has grown to four television stations and an FM station paired with the original AM radio station she bought many years ago.

Although she lived in South Dakota, Helen's roots in Nebraska remained strong, which led to establishing KDUH-TV.

She served as president of the South Dakota Broadcasters Association in 1961, the first woman president of any state broadcast association in the country. She was also elected to the South Dakota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

In November 1991, Helen S. Duhamel passed away in Rapid City. She was 86.

A true broadcast pioneer, she was one of the acknowledged women leaders during the 50's, 60's and 70's.