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Oprah Winfrey Interviews Bob Hieronimus

Calls his collection of artwork “exciting” and a
“historical, futuristic perspective”

Oprah Winfrey owes me a favor.

This is the vintage Oprah Winfrey we remember in Baltimore from her start at WJZ-TV, Channel 13, seen here together with Richard Sher.

She would probably not remember this, but when she was a roving reporter at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, one of the times she was sent out to interview me was at Ft. McHenry on October 7, 1980.

I had a showing of my watercolor series about Baltimore that was on display at Ft. McHenry National Monument and it was attracting a lot of attention from the tourists and many visitors that come through the home of the “Star Spangled Banner” every year.

Oprah arrived late for our appointment, and was really distressed about it. She wanted to get started right away with the interview, but let it slip how famished she was, running from one assignment to another. I asked her if she would like to go pick up some lunch first before we started the interview, and she was so grateful. When she returned for the interview she was pleased and satiated, and in a much calmer state of mind.

Below is the transcript of our interview, that, unfortunately, I have no video copy of. Back in those days, I considered myself lucky to tape it on audio cassette off my TV. When the interview was over, she told me over and over how much she appreciated my kindness and patience with her running late and needing food before we started. She even said she “owed me one,” but of course I never called in the debt.

Listen online to Oprah interview Dr. Bob Hieronimus

Voice of Oprah Winfrey:

“It’s the home of the Star Spangled Banner, and every year thousands of tourists come and see those broad stripes and bright stars right here at Ft. McHenry. Now there is even more to see here. Thirteen watercolor scenes of Baltimore including Baltimore in 1729, Druid Hill in 1873, and Baltimore 1990.

“It is a historical, futuristic perspective done by artist, Bob Hieronimus. If you’ve ever passed Fort and Lawrence Streets, you’ve no doubt noticed the big mural on the wall there. It also is done by Bob Hieronimus and shows Baltimore past and present.

“This exciting collection of artwork by Bob Hieronimus has, to his benefit, been sold to a private collector, so if you would like to see it for yourself, you’ll have to do so from now until October 21st right here at Ft. McHenry.”

Thanks Oprah! Hope to treat you to a cheeseburger again someday!

Here are three of the pieces that were exhibited at Ft. McHenry that Oprah Winfrey called “exciting”.

“Baltimore 1839” courtesy of the collection of Harvey M. Meyerhoff.


“Jones Falls 1837” currently in a private collection.


“Ft. McHenry” courtesy of the collection of Zohara M. Hieronimus.


See the Hieronimus Art Gallery here...