(Sept. 27, 2006) -- We are saddened to report the passing of Ralph Story, a broadcaster whose warmly delivered prose on L.A. area history, people and places charmed audiences on KNXT/KCBS Channel 2 and KNX radio in the 1950s and 60s. He later joined KABC-TV and then did work for KCET.
He'd retired to the Santa Ynez area of Santa Barbara County and reached 86.
In the 1950s and 60s, when traditional broadcasters prrrrrrronounced, Ralph Story communicated in an elegantly written but casually delivered style. First heard on KNX radio, he moved seamlessly to KNXT's (Channel 2) "Big News," one of the country's first one hour local newscasts. The program dominated the market with a team including anchor Jerry Dunphy, sportscaster Gil Stratton, weatherman Bill Keene, reporters Bill Stout and Ruth Ashton Taylor...and Ralph Story...whose segments were titled, "The Human Predicament."
Story's work drew so much attention that KNXT created a show tailored to his talents: "Ralph Story's Los Angeles." The half hour show covered L.A. and southland history with affection and eloquence. It ran for several years and its documentary/essay format paved the way for subsequent video essayists including Huell Howser.
Ralph Story hosted CBS' nationally televised quiz show "$64,000 Challenge" in the 1950s (he wasn't involved in the quiz show scandals)...and nearly two decades later anchored KCBS-TV's newscasts.
We last saw him on two KCET specials (scheduled by management for fundraising periods when they wanted maximum viewers). The shows were titled "Things That Aren't Here Anymore"...and poignantly described L.A. area places and things that were part of our collective consciousness but are now gone.
The shows were unforgettable. So was Ralph Story.