Journal-isms: Mourning the Loss of Harold Dow

He was the first black reporter on the air in his hometown, and he never forgot from whence he came.

Harold Dow, CBS News Correspondent, Dies at 62

Harold Dow Longtime CBS News correspondent Harold Dow died suddenly this morning, Saturday, Aug. 21, at the age of 62,” CBS News announced on Saturday.

[On Sunday night, CBS said Dow’s family said the cause of death was apparently an asthma attack.

[“At the time of Harold’s death, he was suffering from adult onset asthma. On Monday, August 16, 2010, Harold checked himself into the Valley Hospital emergency room in Ridgewood for severe asthmatic symptoms. According to the Hackensack Police Department incident report, an inhaler was found on the floor of Harold’s vehicle. Therefore, it is believed at this time that Harold succumbed to an asthma attack while behind the wheel,” a family spokesperson said.]

“Dow was a correspondent for 48 Hours since 1990, after serving as a contributor to the broadcast since its premiere on January 19, 1988. Dow was also a contributor to the critically acclaimed 1986 documentary 48 Hours on Crack Street, which led to creation of the single-topic weekly news magazine.

” ‘CBS News is deeply saddened by this sudden loss,’ said Sean McManus, president, CBS News and Sports. ‘The CBS News family has lost one of its oldest and most talented members, whose absence will be felt by many and whose on-air presence and reporting skills touched nearly all of our broadcasts. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Kathy, and their children, Joelle, Danica and David.’

“Over the course of his distinguished career at the network, Dow served as a correspondent for the CBS News magazine Street Stories (1992-93) and reported for the CBS Evening News With Dan Rather, Sunday Morning and the CBS News legal series Verdict. He served as co-anchor on CBS News Nightwatch (1982-83), prior to which he had been a correspondent (1977-82) and reporter (1973-77) at the CBS News Los Angeles bureau.

“He covered many of the most important stories of our times, including 9/11, where he barely escaped one of the falling Twin Towers; the return of POWs from Vietnam and the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst, with whom he had an exclusive interview in December 1976; the movement of American troops into Bosnia; and the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster. He also conducted the first network interview with O.J. Simpson following the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

” ‘Harold Dow was a reporter for the ages. Insatiably curious, he was happiest when he was on the road deep into a story. He took pride in every story he did,’ said 48 Hours Mystery Executive Producer Susan Zirinsky. ‘It was his humanity, which was felt by everyone he encountered, even in his toughest interviews, that truly defined the greatness of his work. He was the most selfless man I have known. It is a tremendous loss for 48 Hours, CBS News and the world of journalism. I deeply miss him already.’ “