September 9, 2004 by

Larry McCormick

17 comments

Categories: Hollywood, Media

lmccormick.jpgLarry McCormick, a veteran journalist who broke color barriers in Southern California media circles, died on Aug. 27. Cause of death was not released. He was 71.

The Kansas City, Mo., native studied theater arts and broadcasting at what is now the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He worked a short stint as a disc jockey and community relations director at KPRS-FM before relocating to Los Angeles in 1958.

McCormick’s smooth voice earned high ratings on several local radio stations, but it was his handsome face and professional demeanor that made him a charismatic presence in front of the camera. When he joined KCOP-TV in 1969, McCormick was one of the city’s first black newscasters.

He moved to KTLA-TV in 1971 and spent the next 30 years steadily working his way up the ranks from weathercaster and health/fitness reporter to news anchor. Until he took ill, McCormick co-anchored the station’s “News at Ten: Weekend Edition” and hosted the public affairs series “Making It: Minority Success Stories.” He also played a TV anchorman in dozens of movies and TV shows, including “Throw Mama From the Train,” “Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Angel” and “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.”

A former president of the Radio & Television Association of Southern California, McCormick won a local Emmy Award and the 1994 Governor’s Award. His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located at 6420 Hollywood Blvd.

17 Responses to Larry McCormick

  1. kathy

    Even though I never met him, Larry Mccormick felt like a friend. What a sweet personality he shared with us! Larry personified respect and kindness.

  2. Ed

    I have very fond memories of Larry. I was a member of a So. Calif. r&r group in the mid 1960’s called The Rubber Band, which won a “battle of the bands” contest held in Buena Park. Larry was one of the judges on the panel which consisted of a few Radio D.J.’s, and I had the pleasure to speak with him after the event. I was astounded when he told me to tune in to his show on KFWB – that he would mention our band winning the contest. I did, and he made a great promo spot with sfx and “everything”. That was a real thrill! Larry was very intelligent and a genuinely beautiful person. I will never forget his warmth and will miss seeing him on KTLA. God bless him and his family.

  3. Frances (McCoy) Taylor

    I also have fond memories of Larry McCormick. Larry hosted a dance show in the early sixties. I was one of the students from L.A. High School who particpated in the show. The show was broadcast locally. Larry was professional and we all had a great time.

  4. Allan Johnson

    When I first saw Larry I was a teenager. He hosted a T.V. type Black American, American Bandstand. The time was 1963 or 1964. Color T.V. was not affordable then so we watched it on a black and white T.V.screen. Many of the family’s in the area would gather around the T.V. to see this black program hosted by a black man of integrity and professionalism. We were proud of Larry. God bless you Larry we will miss you and not forget you.

  5. Keith R. Wood

    Larry was COOL. That says a lot for a newsman. He held it together during fires, riots and earthquakes. He was a great personality in an industry full of plastic people. I haven’t lived in LA for 20 years, but still remember him and his work.

  6. Frank de la Puente

    I have just learned that Larry McCormick died last year, and I am very sad. Larry was my favorite news guy in the 1970s when I was living in L.A. (my home town) and attending university. With all due respect, I always felt that Larry should have been the anchor on KTLA and Hal Fishman the one doing the secondary stories such as those having to do with twin-engine airplanes.
    Rest in peace Larry and I’ll see you soon.
    Frank de la Puente, Salem, Oregon 8-21-05

  7. Joseph Gallo

    Here it is some 2 1/2 years later and I’m just discovering that Larry McCormick passed away. I was in the process of moving to another state when news of his death evidently broke in 2004. I had lost the local Channel 5 newscast available in my former town of Santa Barbara, and I never heard. I just had to write of my admiration for his unparalleled professionalism. A voice I grew up with, a man of integrity and honesty. I will miss him even if it’s already been this long.
    Thanks, Larry, for your exemplary character and quality newscasting.

  8. Kevin Marcy

    I just found out Larry died and felt compelled to write in honor of his dignity and tremendous talent. What a class act. Larry, thank you for all you gave us.

  9. Allison Etter-Peterson

    Mr. Larry McCormick
    the example you have set for so many of this countries younger generations with your life
    for those of us affected directly as well as indirectly
    the care and community involvement you have displayed in your life time
    the constant in your always striving to do and become more than you were the day before
    for not settling
    for leaving behind hope for our lives our futures and those of our children
    for helping to pave the way for younger minority generations
    for proving to us that if we dont give up or give in
    we shall indeed succeed

  10. Eddie Kaye

    With yesterday’s passing of Hal Fishman, it brought up memories of the late, great Larry McCormick as well. The old school guard is quickly fading away in the news “business” now, as news is just another conglomerate owned commodity to sell like soap or to used to brainwash in the slant of the CEO’s particular political preference.

  11. Charlotte

    Uncle Larry. We miss you so much. Thank you for living your life the way you did before us. You gave us hope. Your drive and determination is definitely something to pattern. At first I was nervous and a bit apprehensive when asked to sing a song at the funeral, but I later viewed the opportunity as an honor! Mom misses you. We think about you often and we will love you and remember you forever.

  12. carlton mccormick

    hi my name is carlton mccormick & i am larry mccormicks great nephew, i just want to thank everybody who have ever supported my great uncle so thank you, & i whould like to say thank you very much.
    god bless you
    &
    remember uncle larry is smiling

  13. Maurice

    Larry was great on KGFJ soul radio in the sixties. He was a professional host with no boast. He simply got the job done, with much respect. He told me once that his voice always sounded the way it did, since childhood.. So it was indeed a gift.

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