Katherine Peden, 80; Broadcaster Served on Panel Studying Riots

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Katherine Peden, 80, the only woman to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders established in the mid-1960s by President Johnson to investigate civil unrest in Los Angeles and several other American cities, died Sunday at a Lexington, Ky., nursing home after a long illness.

Her work for the 11-member panel that came to be known as the Kerner Commission led her to visit Watts in 1967. When the group's report was released a year later it concluded that the "nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."

The commission urged legislation that would promote racial integration, create jobs and job-training programs and provide housing for those who lived in slums. Johnson rejected the report's findings.

Peden was a broadcasting executive who started her career at a radio station in her hometown of Hopkinsville, Ky., in 1944. Later, she bought her own radio station, WNVL-AM, in Nicholasville, which she ran until 1971.

In 1963, she was appointed Kentucky's first female commerce commissioner. Peden also became the first Kentucky woman to run for the U.S. Senate, in 1968, but lost the race.


Gerry Tolman, the longtime manager of Crosby, Stills & Nash, was killed in a car accident Dec. 31 near his home in Los Angeles. He was 52.

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