There have been a lot of people who have been involved in numerous newsworthy events over the past few decades, but even by that criteria, Gary DeLaune stands out. DeLaune passed away Sunday at the age of 88. As Robert Rivard wrote at SanAntonioReport.org this week, DeLaune’s record is remarkable, and it includes plenty of notable news events as well as sports events:
Gary DeLaune, one of San Antonio’s most noteworthy and beloved broadcast journalists, died Sunday at the age of 88. A legendary on-air voice of high school sports events, DeLaune enjoyed a decades-long career at KENS-TV and continued to call local football games through 2021.
…“My dad had great police sources, and the morning of President Kennedy’s motorcade through downtown Dallas a lady, he would never say who, called him with the big news tip,” said DeLaune’s son Shannon, the owner of a San Antonio insurance underwriting company. “She told him, ‘Shots have been fired in downtown Dallas.’ He was the first to break into programming and go on-air with a news bulletin with those very words: ‘Shots have been fired in downtown Dallas.’”
…Two days later, DeLaune was one of several newsmen in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
…After a brief time working in Houston, DeLaune moved to San Antonio in the early 1970s to help cover the San Antonio Spurs, who had newly arrived from their previous home in Dallas. He later joined the sports broadcasting team at KENS.
Greg Sherman of Mr. Bowtie’s High School Sports Machine offered the following tribute in a conversation with AA:
Gary Delaune is not a legend in San Antonio, he is THE legend. 62 years in the industry. Broke the JFK shooting before Walter Kronkite. Was there when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Broadcasted high school sports forever in San Antonio. He is to SA what Vin Scully is to LA, or Dick Enberg to San Diego or Myron Cope to Pittsburgh or Jack Buck in St. Louis. Gary was a close friend of mine and he taught me so much about the industry and will always owe him a debt of gratitude. At his funeral he requested people wear colorful attire because he always wore colorful attire.
San Antonio CBS affiliate KENS5, where DeLaune spent much of his career, had this piece on him earlier this week. Here are some highlights from that:
“Gary was a friend to all, and he loved sports, especially high school football,” KENS 5 sports anchor Joe Reinagel said. “The stadiums won’t be the same without him. He will be missed, but the memory of who he was will live forever.”
…”Gary DeLaune loved people and telling their stories. He was a colorful reporter and sportscaster, both in his writing and his wild sports coats,” KENS 5 news anchor Deborah Knapp said. “He was always a joy to be with, and we stayed in touch after he retired from KENS 5. He was one of a kind.”
As per San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT, DeLaune will be honored with a celebration of life Friday. And it’s certainly notable to see someone with his kind of news broadcasting history receive that honor. DeLaune had a remarkable career both in San Antonio and on a wider national level, and it’s definitely notable to see the attention he is now drawing with memorials.
[SanAntonioReport, @MrBowtie1982 on Twitter; image of DeLaune via KENS5]