That’s How The Story Ends

As reported by both la_observed (in this article) and CNN, Ralph Story has died, at age 86, of emphysema. The Los Angeles Times has a good obit.

Who was Ralph Story, you may be asking yourself? CNN notes that he was a television and radio broadcaster for three decades and host of the hugely popular quiz show “The $64,000 Challenge” in the 1950s. This means nothing to most people.

Ralph Story was a veteran broadcaster here in Los Angeles. He was the features reporter for “The Big News” on KNXT-TV Channel 2. He was also the host of “Ralph Story’s Los Angeles,” which was the precursor “Eye on L.A.”, “Two on the Town”, and the Huell Howser’s shows on the history of Los Angeles and California. “Ralph Story’s LA” ran from 1964 to 1970, and I fondly remember watching in on Sunday afternoon — in particular, his pieces on the Los Angeles Subway (for you newbies, that’s the original Pacific Electric Subway) and pieces on the freeway system. He begin his career on KNX radio in the late 1940s, and preceded Regis Philbin as a morning show host on Channel 7 (“A.M. Los Angeles”) between stints at Channel 2. He also had numerous film parts.

Ralph, thank you for all the work you did chronicling this great city’s history. I hope, for future generations, they are released on DVD, although they are preseved in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. You will forever be in the ranks of the big Los Angeles broadcasters: Clete Roberts, George Putnam, Jerry Dunphy, Joe Benti, Tom Snyder, Tom Brokaw, Kelly Lange, Stan Chambers, Dick Hale, and the others.

P.S.: Adding to the group of three: Tokyo Rose also died today. As Tom Lehrer said, who’s next?