John Hambrick, a popular Miami news anchor who earned success in the 1980’s after taking over the news desk for Ralph Renick, has died of lung cancer. He was 73 years old.
Hambrick was an award-winning anchor who got his start on television in the ’60s; he worked in New York, L.A., Cincinnati, and Texas before moving to Miami and taking a job at WTVJ-Channel 4 (now NBC 6) from 1985 to 1989. Before, that, acting was his first love, and his deep baritone voice and dramatic flair during newscasts eventually made him a star.
“John was a legend in this community,” said news director Liz Roldan. “He set a standard that all of us in the local television industry strive to meet, simply because it makes us all better at what we do. John was larger than life — not surprising because he was a fellow Texan — but also due to his authoritative delivery and his commanding presence.”
Many people didn’t realize the scope of Hambrick’s creativity; he was a country musician who wrote and recorded an album in 1972, and he co-wrote a screenplay about Confederate general John Hunt Morgan in his later years.
“My dad was a creative person, an artist. He approached anchoring the news and writing copy as a creative process. Whether it was writing scripts, anchoring the news or recording a country album, it was all about creativity with him,” his son Jack said.
Hambrick passed away on Tuesday and is survived by his wife, Barbara, and their three children.