On this day in 1972: Sammy Davis Jr. breaks barriers as the first African-American Oscars host; Isaac Hayes wins for ‘Shaft’


American entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. poses in this January 21, 1964 photo. (AP Photo)
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On April 10, 1972, Sammy Davis Jr. made history as the first African-American to host the Academy Awards. Sharing hosting duties with Alan King, Helen Hayes, and Jack Lemmon at the 44th annual event, Davis marked a significant milestone.

In this April 11, 1972 picture, Isaac Hayes holds his Oscar for best song “Theme From Shaft” from the movie “Shaft” during the Academy Awards ceremonies in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (AP Photo)

Moreover, Isaac Hayes further etched his name in history that same night by winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song with “Theme From Shaft,” becoming the first African-American to achieve this honor in a non-acting category.

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