Public TV series to spotlight IU’s Lee Hamilton, his pastor brother

This is such a great idea that it’s surprising it hasn’t been done before. WFYI, the Indianapolis public television station, has brought together former longtime Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton and his brother, the Rev. Richard Hamilton, for a series of talks about their lives and a range of issues.

For those in the Indy viewing area, the 30-minute programs will air at 7:30 p.m. on three successive Thursdays, starting tonight, on WFYI 1. For those of us outside the viewing area, a podcast of each segment will be posted online within a day of its broadcast.

Lee Hamilton, Richard Hamilton and Judy O'Bannon

Lee Hamilton, left, with Richard Hamilton and Judy O’Bannon

According to a WFYI news release, the conversations touch on a wide array of topics, from politics and policy to war and nuclear weapons to growing up in Evansville, Ind., in the era of World War II to the brothers’ mutual love of basketball.

Former Indiana first lady Judy O’Bannon hosts the segments and created the series — titled “Lee and Richard Hamilton: Conversations with a Politician and a Pastor” — with WFIU producer Gary Harrison. A brief preview is on the WFYI YouTube channel.

Lee Hamilton, a distinguished scholar and professor of practice at IU Bloomington and director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, represented Southern Indiana in the U.S. House for 34 years and became known as an international authority on diplomatic affairs and foreign relations. After retiring from Congress, he was vice chair of the 9/11 Commission and co-chaired the Iraq Study Group.

Richard Hamilton followed in his father’s footsteps to become a pastor in the United Methodist Church. He served churches in Bloomington and Evansville and was senior pastor for more than 20 years at North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. He has been a tireless campaigner for social justice, marching with Martin Luther King Jr. and advocating for peace, access to health care and other issues.


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