Longtime anchor Ron Stone dead at 72

HOUSTON He was 72.

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His death was reported on the Web site of Houston television station KPRC, where he anchored the news for 20 years until his retirement in 1992. He worked at KHOU in Houston for 10 years before moving to KPRC, an NBC affiliate.

"He just had a way about him I thought was outstanding," said Dave Ward, an anchor at KTRK-TV in Houston. "And in my estimation, Ron Stone was the finest television news anchor this city ever saw or ever will."

Stone was known for his storytelling and his folksy, plainspoken delivery. The Houston Chronicle once declared Stone to be "the most popular and revered news anchor the city has ever known."

"As a writer, as an intellect, I've never worked with anybody finer," former co-anchor Jan Carson said. "He really understood news. He was the consummate newsman."

Upon his retirement in 1992, Stone shared with viewers his love of the news and the city.

"Thank you for putting up with me," he said in his final broadcast. "Thank you for letting me into your homes. I always figured that doing local television was a trust, so I never tried to lie to you, never tried to lead you down false paths. I spent 30 years working at two really fine television stations in one really fine town. I've been a lucky man."

His son said people were always most important to his father in his reporting.

"Dad really wanted people to respect the humanity of those folks being interviewed," Ron Stone Jr. said. "That was very important to him — very important."

He was so popular that KPRC brought him back for a one-night appearance 10 years after his retirement.

In his career, he reported from Israel and Lebanon and on a fatal earthquake in Guatemala. The highlight of his career, he said, was reporting on the fall of the Berlin wall.

The Oklahoma-born Stone, who moved to Houston in the early 1960s, also hosted a long-running television show called 'The Eyes of Texas,' where he told unique stories about the state. He went on to write three books about Texas, "A Book of Texas Days," ''Disaster at Texas City," and "Houston: Simply Spectacular."

He was also known for his charitable work, raising what KPRC said was millions of dollars to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association and working on the annual telethon to support the association.

After retiring from KPRC he began a production company called Stonefilms of Texas Inc. which would earn numerous advertising awards.

The funeral will be held on Friday at 11am at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church on Memorial at Blalock. Visitation will be on Thursday. Those details are still pending.

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