Longtime, highly respected KTLA News anchor Larry McCormick passed away today. He was 71 years old and had been with KTLA since 1971.
McCormick, one of the first African American television news anchors in Los Angeles, was co-anchor of KTLA's "News @ Ten: Weekend Edition" and provided health and fitness reports for the station's weeknight newscasts. He was also co-host of KTLA's public affairs series "Making It: Minority Success Stories." A public memorial will be announced in the near future.
"This is a tremendous loss for everyone at KTLA," commented Vincent Malcolm, KTLA vice president and general manager. "Larry was truly admired and respected by everyone at the station. Many employees looked upon him as a role model who always shared his knowledge, wisdom and time. Larry believed in giving back to the community, especially Los Angeles' African American community. His leadership had considerable significance in the shaping of that community."
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1933 Larry attended Lincoln High School and was a theatre major at the University of Missouri at Kansas City before switching to broadcasting. In 1957, Larry landed his first radio job as music host and community relations director for KPRS in Kansas City. In 1958, he moved to Los Angeles where he became a popular radio personality, news reporter, community affairs director and talk show host on stations such as KGFJ, KDAY, KFWB, KLAC and KMPC.
In 1969 Larry made the transition to television when he joined KCOP-TV as a news anchor and game show host and thus becoming one of the first African-American television anchormen in Los Angeles. The following year he became weatherman at KABC-TV.
When Larry joined KTLA in 1971, his versatility was put into action as he took on many roles including anchor, weatherman, sportscaster and public affairs program host. In June 2001 KTLA named one of its stages the Larry McCormick Stage as a tribute to his remarkable contributions to the station and devotion to the community. In October 2002, Larry was honored with a star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame where the public had the opportunity to applaud his work on and off-the-air.
Over the years Larry was nominated for several Emmy Awards and in 2003 received one for his work on "Making It: Minority Success Stories." In 1994 he received the prestigious Governor's Award, the highest honor presented annually by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He also received a number of Golden Mike Awards presented by the Radio & Television News Association.
Larry never lost his love for the performing arts. He demonstrated his acting skills, usually portraying television newscaster, in more than 80 motion pictures and television shows including "Throw Mama From the Train," "Naked Gun 2 1/2"," "The Jeffersons," "The Love Boat," "The Rockford Files" and "Beverly Hills 90210."
In the community Larry organized and/or emceed more than 2,100 programs in the greater Los Angeles community. He volunteered much of his free time to various non-profit organizations especially those in the African American community where he established a strong presence and became a role model to many. He was a hard-working member of numerous board of directors including the Los Angeles Urban League, the Challenger's Boys and Girls Club and the Performing Tree (theatre for kids). Larry also worked with the Angel City Links Achiever's Program, the Lullaby Guild of Los Angeles and the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation, among others.
Larry was a past president of the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California and a board member of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club. His affiliations also included the Black Journalists Association of Southern California, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 100 Black Men of Los Angeles and the United Way of Los Angeles, among others.
Larry was perennial host for the United Negro College Fund and MDA Telethons. He was "quiz master" for 12 years for the Los Angeles Unified School Districts annual Academic Decathlon and two years for the National Academic Decathlon. For over 20 years he served as the permanent master of ceremonies for the Los Angeles Urban League's Annual Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Dinner.
For his community service Larry received over 130 awards, citations and honors from government, civic and community organizations including the Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the California Assembly and Senate, the Los Angeles and Compton Unified School Districts, the Los Angeles City Human Relations Committee, the Los Angeles County Heart Association and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Larry is survived by his wife Anita, daughter Kitty, sons Alvin and Mitch and grandsons Daniel and Benjamin. Larry was a member of Episcopal Church of the Advent in Los Angeles for almost 40 years.
The McCormick family is suggesting financial donations in Larry's name be made to: Tower Cancer Research Foundation, 9090 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, Attn: Marie Fuerst, (310) 888-8680
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