Biographical / Historical
Huell Burnley Howser (1945-2013) was an American broadcast journalist best known for California's Gold, his travel show based in Los Angeles at KCET and aired on California public broadcast stations.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in Gallatin, Tennessee, Howser received a BS in Education from the University of Tennessee, and served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as an aircraft mechanic. In 1971, Howser began working at WSM-TV in Nashville, Tennessee where he developed his interviewing style. He served as their Feature Reporter and Director of Special Projects and appeared live nightly on the six o’clock news. His assignments included the country music scene in Nashville, politics, human interest stories, and general news. Howser also produced television series focused on human interest stories such as Happy Features and The Happy World of Huell Howser.
Howser also worked in New York before moving to Los Angeles in 1981 to work as a reporter for KCBS-TV. He served as a weekend host and correspondent for the show, Entertainment Tonight from 1981 to 1983. In 1985 he joined the public broadcast system affiliate KCET as a producer for the show Videolog. At KCET, Howser created California's Gold in 1991 and Visiting...with Huell Howser in 1993. Along with cameraman, Luis Fuerte, Howser sought untapped stories throughout the state.
By 2000, Howser's shows aired six nights a week and were watched by nearly one million viewers a week on KCET alone. In addition to local stations, his programs could be viewed on PBS stations in Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Tennesse, countless public access channels, and even the Armed Forces radio and Television Service. By 2012, Howser had produced nearly 1,500 programs chronicling the people and places of California. He announced his retirement on November 28, 2012. Howser passed away on January 7, 2013 at the age of 67 at his Palm Springs home.