O. Kay Henderson
Covering politicians was apparently Kay’s destiny from day one. She was born on election day. Her parents were relieved their bundle of joy was “okay” considering the newborn’s mom was 45 years old, so they named her “O. Kay.” She grew up on the family farm near Lenox, Iowa, and paraded cattle in the show ring during her teenage years. (Kay still has the belt buckle and the 4-H badge to prove it.)
During her years at Iowa State University, Kay served as a statehouse correspondent for WOI-AM, the NPR affiliate in Ames. Between her freshman and sophomore years, she did a three-month, summertime “tour of duty” as the managing editor of the weekly newspaper in her hometown.
In 1987, Kay became one of the three founding members of the Radio Iowa network newsroom. In 1994, she became the network’s news director. You may recognize Kay’s mug from her Sunday television appearances. She’s a featured reporter and commentator on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press.” Kay was the 2002 recipient of the Shelley Award.