Legendary journalist gives firsthand experience of JFK assassination
DeLaune speaks to students as he stands by a framed copy of The Dallas Times Herald frontpage, published the day after Lee Harvey Oswald was executed by Jack Ruby.
There wasn’t an empty seat in the MacArthur High School auditorium on Nov. 6, as more than 550 juniors gathered to get a glimpse at the tragedy that surrounded President John F. Kennedy’s assassination from an individual that experienced it firsthand—legendary journalist, broadcaster and consultant, Gary DeLaune.
In 1963, DeLaune, who was 30 years old at the time, was reported as the first to broadcast the bulletin that President Kennedy had been shot by a sniper in Dallas. With his vivid storytelling and calm demeanor, DeLaune managed to create a “sitting around the campfire” atmosphere, making the event memorable for students.
After receiving an anonymous tip on the KLIF News hotline and confirming with his sources in the Dallas Police Department, at 12:36 p.m., DeLaune interrupted a 45 record playing “I have a boyfriend” by The Chiffons to break the tragic news.
“People say, ‘Did you get emotional?’ I didn’t until I thought about it later,” said DeLaune. “Because when you are doing it, you just do it automatically. I choked up later; it’s difficult to talk about it.”
Originally from Kansas, DeLaune is an Oklahoma University graduate with a BA in Communications. With a career spanning five decades, the bulk of it has been spent in Texas where he got his start in radio and television broadcast in 1960. Beginning with WFAA, KLIF and KDFW-TV in Dallas, then KNUZ and KQUE in Houston and finally at KENS-TV here in San Antonio, where he worked for 28 years as a reporter, producer and sports anchor.
Posted on November 6, 2013