Veteran ABC13 News anchor Dave Ward hits a historic milestone when he celebrates his 50th year at KTRK-TV. His long tenure at the station was acknowledged in June of this year when he was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records by breaking the record as the longest-running local TV news anchor in the world at the same station, in the same market.
If you're viewing on our ABC13 news app, tap on the photo above to see more images.
SEE: Dave Ward in the Guinness Book of World Records
Dave began working at the station as a reporter/photographer in 1966, and started anchoring newscasts two years later. Over the last five decades, Dave has covered topics from space walks and the Vietnam Peace Talks to natural disasters and politics, including a one-to-one interview with President Obama.
Dave recalled, "I've reported on the Vietnam War, reported on the end of the Cold War and on the dissolution of the Soviet Union. I've covered all kinds of stories, chased hurricanes from Mexico to Florida, reported on all kinds of explosions and fires and ship channel collisions and just about everything you can think of.
"I was always the type who wanted to know what was happening. I wanted to find out what was going on and tell everybody I know what I had found out. And that's what I have done in this news business over the past fifty years. I wouldn't take a million dollars for it. It's been an amazing 50 years here at KTRK-TV in Houston. If I leave a legacy, I would really like it to be, 'He really tried to do it right.'"
"One of the things we are most proud of within the ABC Owned Station Group is the powerful connections our news teams have with their local communities," said Rebecca Campbell, President of the ABC Owned Television Station Group and President of ABC Daytime. "Dave is a shining example of that standard, and he has become one of the nation's most respected news anchors and an extremely valued member of the ABC 13 family."
"We are very proud of Dave and his long tenure at our station," said Henry Florsheim, President and General Manager of KTRK-TV. "Fifty years is a major milestone, and we want to thank him for many contributions to our station and our community."
"Dave will always serve as a model of integrity and excellence to the KTRK newsroom," said Wendy Granato, Vice President/News Director for Channel 13. "He has taught generations of TV journalists the value of getting the story right. Dave's legacy will live on in our newsroom for many years to come."
Dave Ward is a longtime supporter of Crime Stoppers, and a first-in-the-nation Crime Stoppers Headquarters named for him will be opened in Houston next year. The new facility will be the cornerstone of Houston's first Public Safety and Crime Prevention Block.
DAVE WARD BIOGRAPHY
Getting the facts right, consistently-that's what defines Dave Ward. A true Texas original, Dave has made his mark as one of the nation's most respected news anchors for the past five decades. In his trademark down-to-earth style, he begins every newscast with "Good evening, friends," and has for 50 years. It is the candor and dedication to getting every side of the story that's helped him become the most trusted newsman in Houston.
His name is David Henry Ward, but to thousands of Eyewitness News viewers who wouldn't miss Channel 13's nightly newscasts, he is known simply as "Dave." He has been a radio and television broadcaster for 57 years. Born in Dallas, he grew up in Huntsville and began his radio career with KGKB Radio in Tyler while attending college. Three years later, he joined the staff of WACO Radio as a staff announcer and quickly climbed to Program Director the following year.
Dave moved to Houston in 1962 where he worked for KNUZ Radio as a News Reporter and News Director for four years. He made the move to Channel 13 in 1966 as the station's only on-the-street news reporter and photographer, coming "inside" in early 1967 to anchor Channel 13's weekday 7 am newscast. Later that year, he became the first host of the wildly popular "Dialing for Dollars" program, which later evolved into "Good Morning Houston." Houston viewers flocked to see him and hear him and by January 1968, Dave became the anchor of Eyewitness News at 6 and 10, leading the broadcast to the No. 1 in Houston.
From fires, explosions, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes throughout Texas and the South, Dave has covered it all. He has covered national political conventions and reported on the space program from the Florida launch site for Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and all shuttle flights. During his career, he has interviewed people from all walks of life, from Presidents to drug dealers. His interviews with five U.S. Presidents and U.S. Vice President Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller have achieved much acclaim. He has traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, and Colombia to report on numerous stories with a Houston connection. Dave accompanied the Houston delegation to the Paris Peace Talks and spent a week in Germany examining mass transit solutions that could potentially benefit Houston.
Dave is equally devoted to community service. He has lent his expertise at the microphone to serve as Master of Ceremonies for many charitable and civic events. Dave's commanding voice and his stately presence add immeasurably to the overall success of any fundraising event.
Dave is past president of Houston Easter Seals Society and has hosted several Easter Seals telethons. He is a past member of the Public Affairs Advisory Board of the Houston Business Council, Public Information Committee of the American Cancer Society, the Board of Directors of the Leukemia Society and the Press Club of Houston. He is a Lifetime Member of Crime Stoppers and the 100 Club of Houston, Endowed Lifetime Member of the Partnership for Baylor College of Medicine, and a Lifetime Member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Dave serves on the board of the Houston Police Foundation and on the Advisory Board of Houston Children's Charity.
Some of Dave's most productive work has been with the Crime Stoppers of Houston organization. At the time of the program's inception in 1981, Dave was instrumental in establishing Crime Stoppers in Houston and throughout the world. His creation of crime reenactments has become the model for similar programs across the country and throughout the world. He became Crime Stoppers' first on-air reporter and his unwavering passion and commitment to stop crimes in Houston remains steadfast. Opening in 2017, the first Crime Stoppers headquarters in the nation will be named The Dave Ward Building: Crime Stoppers of Houston. A mission-driven monument to crime prevention, this building will also be a highly efficient, secure hub for centralized operations, staff, volunteers, victims, law enforcement and the media. Detailed collections, archives and a retrospective gallery celebrate Dave's award winning career and contributions will honor his work for the organization.
Dave has won a number of awards over his long career. In 1973, Houston Mayor Louis Welch presented Dave with the City of Houston Public Service Award for his work on the Managua earthquake. In 2002, Dave received the prestigious Leon Goldstein Award for Outstanding Service in Fighting Crime from Houston Crime Stoppers. In 2007, he proudly accepted a regional Emmy for Art/Entertainment Special Programs for his interviews with his friend, singer-songwriter, Steve Tyrell. In 2011, the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences inducted Dave into their Silver Circle for his years of contributions to the Television Broadcast Community. In 2016, Dave was honored by the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas and also inducted into the esteemed Texas Radio Hall of Fame. Also, in 2017, Dave will be inducted into the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Hall of Fame.
As the "Voice of Houston," Dave has distinguished himself not only as the longest running television anchor in the City of Houston, but he holds that same distinction worldwide; no other news anchor has been on the same newscast program, on the same station for as long. Dave now holds the Certificate from Guinness World Records for "the longest career as a television news broadcaster is 49 years and 218 days, achieved by Dave Ward (USA), who began working on 9 November 1966 and continues anchoring at KTRK-TV, in Houston, Texas, USA, as verified on June 2, 2016."