Long-time broadcaster Alec Gifford has died at the age of 85.
His daughter told WDSU that he passed away late Friday.
Gifford retired in 2006. He spent decades at WDSU as both anchor and News Director.
WDSU provides more about the life and times of this New Orleans broadcaster:
He was born into a family rooted in journalism. Gifford's father was a newspaper man, but the younger Gifford found his calling in a new medium -- television. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he joined WDSU in 1955 and soon established himself as a leader in the industry.
He covered the campaign of then Sen. John F. Kennedy and was largely credited for introducing the presidential candidate to New Orleans voters.
Gifford worked alongside other pioneers in the business, including Mel Leavitt and Nash Roberts, and hired many who would become local icons, such as investigative reporter Richie Angelico and anchor Norman Robinson..
Gifford's career took him to the far reaches of the planet. He briefly left New Orleans to become a network correspondent. Gifford was based in New York City but traveled extensively.
He returned to New Orleans, working first at WVUE and then back at WDSU, where he began his career. His assignments ranged from the desegregation of local schools to hurricanes Betsy, Katrina and Rita to the infamous Howard Johnson Hotel sniper incident of 1973.
Gifford was sent to Havana to cover the historic visit of Pope John Paul II.
Other assignments kept Gifford on the road, and beyond. He visited Germany in the 1960s and Israel a decade later, then traveled to Japan to show how that nation was preparing to host the World's Fair.
The quintessential newsman, his interests were wide ranging. Gifford was at ease reporting on politics, breaking news and lighter human interest fare.