Nebraska Authors

Leta Powell Drake

Born 1938-03-10 Duluth, MN (United States of America)

Died 2021-09-15

Leta Powell Drake is perhaps best known to Nebraskans as “Kalamity Kate,” the television personality from Cartoon Corral, which ran from 1967 through 1982. Drake made a name for herself as a producer, writer, television personality and program director, during a professional broadcasting career that has lasted more than 50 years. She moved to Lincoln in 1960 for her post graduate studies, and it was at that time that she began working for KLIN radio and KOLN-TV. Drake produced the 10/11 Morning Show for 25 years, and boasts more than 10,000 television shows hosted and produced during her career. She spent three years writing The Calamities of Kalamity Kate, which looks back and reflects upon her work during the Golden Age of television. Drake is known for her work to help those suffering from muscular dystrophy, and has been awarded numerous honors for her work both on and off of the silver screen.

Places Lived

Duluth, MN
Lincoln, NE

Author Of

  • Biography
  • Nonfiction
  • Play/Screenplay


Television; Channel 10 History -- Lincoln, NE; Cartoons; Local Celebrities -- Lincoln, NE


Actress, Broadcast Television

Places Worked

KOLN/KGIN Television, hosted Cartoon Corral as Kalamity Kate
Former Host of the 10/11 Morning Show
5 City TV


John H. Ames Reading Series, Featured Reader, 15 February 2015
Nebraska Press Women's Hall of Fame, 2014
Nebraska Broadcaster's Hall of Fame, 2010
Mayor's Arts Award, 2001
Lady Vestey Gracious Lady Award, 2001
Life Membership Award, Lincoln General Hospital Auxiliary, 2000
Golden Grid Award, 1997
First Place, PBS Development Award, 1997
Abe Lincoln Award, Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission for Service to the Community
Who's Who in American Women
Friend of Nebraska Award, Seward Chamber of Commerce
Bonnet Award, Salvation Army
First Place Award, Television Bureau of Advertising, for best locally produced TV commercial in the US
Lincoln Advertising Federation First Place Award for best locally produced TV commercial
Best Actress, University of Nebraska Theatre, five time winner.
Elsie Award, Lincoln Community Playhouse
Aldo Award, Men's Fashion Association of America
Top 10, All Women's Transcontinental Air Race Powder Puff Derby


The Calamities of Kalamity Kate: A History of Nebraska's Children's TV Shows. 2014.

Works featured in:
Remembering Dr. Morgan
UNL Theatre
Nebraska Magazine
Lincoln 55 Plus
The OLLI Insider

In February 2015, Leta Powell Drake was one of the featured authors of the Ames Reading Series, which can be viewed here:

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Leta Powell Drake

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)