In the 1950s and 60s, Hattie Leeper broke new ground in radio broadcasting when she became the state's first black female disc jockey at Charlotte's radio station WGIV. She spent twenty years at WGIV, before moving on to several other Charlotte stations. In 1973, she began a career of teaching communication at a number of colleges, including Johnson C. Smith University and Gaston College. She retired in 1998 and then ran her own communications school in Charlotte until 2004. She has received numerous awards, including induction into the Black Radio Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. in 1989 and induction into the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.