Aug 23, 2010

Harold Dow

Harold Dow has died unexpectedly.

The veteran CBS News correspondent died Saturday. He was 62.

Dow leaves behind a wife, Kathy, and three children, Danica, Joelle, and David.

His career at CBS spanned almost 40 years. A five-time Emmy winner and a correspondent for 48 Hours since the program's inception, Dow covered everything from the kidnapping of Patty Hearst to American involvement in Bosnia.

A Peabody and Edward R. Murrow Award winner, Dow was the first network news reporter to interview O.J. Simpson after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. According to the CBS press release announcing his passing, Dow narrowly escaped one of the falling twin towers during his coverage of the September 11 terror attacks.

When 48 Hours premiered as a television news series on CBS in 1988, it took its name from the 1986 documentary 48 Hours On Crack Street. Dow's work appeared in the documentary and he was part of the series since its debut.

In a recent interview with his hometown newspaper, Hackensack, New Jersey's The Record, Dow talked about his work:

"I've traveled all over the world. I've seen things few people in life get a chance to see up front and personal," Dow said in his distinctive, deep voice. "I covered the tsunami in Sri Lanka. I was in South Africa when Nelson Mandela was freed. I traveled with him across the United States when he gave his tour. There's just moments, places I've been that I think truly changed my life."

Before joining CBS, Dow broke the color barrier in 1968 as the first African American reporter in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a feat that earned Dow and the news director that hired him death threats.

Dow told the The Record that being a black journalist carried a special weight for him, a man who grew up picking cotton and tobacco during summers on his grandmother's farm:

"To know what it's like in that hot sun, working from sunup to sundown, forbidden to be able to read or write for hundreds of years. ... and that's what you do as a journalist, the thing they say you can't do," said Dow. "It's all connected for me."





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