Details are sparse, but KCET communication manager Ayan Allen today confirmed broadcasting legend Huell Howser has died of natural causes.
Perhaps best known for his propensity to cry “This is amazing!,” the host of such hits as California’s Gold, Road Trip With Huell Howser, and California’s Golden Coast didn’t become L.A.’s biggest booster overnight. His life began in Gallatin, Tennessee, where he mowed lawns and sold lemonade as a child. After graduating from high school, he joined the Marine Corps and attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He began working for and NBC affiliate in 1970, and, following a stint in New York, moved to Los Angeles to host a talk show on CNN. Howser landed at KCET in 1987. Less than a decade later, then-station president Al Jerome made the decidion to air Howser’s shows six nights a week, turning Howser—by then beloved for his folksy vocabulary and hyper-enthusiasm—into a household name for nearly a million KCET viewers. The show host announced his retirement in November 2012.
Read more about Howser, his life, and his career in this 2003 profile by Tamar Brott.