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California's Gold memorial archive

Identifier: 2013-011-r-c

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of memorial materials relating to the legacy of television personality, Huell Howser and the popularity of his television program, California's Gold. This collection includes foam poster boards from various fans, businesses and restaurants in remembrance of Huell Howser as well as formal memorial material from various municipal bodies, organizations and individuals. There are awards from the California Library Association and the California State Senate, as well as a tree dedication certificate from Santa Barbara Beautiful. The collection also includes two art pieces, a lint art piece and a mosaic piece, both created separately in rememberance of Huell Howser.


  • 2000 - 2014
  • Majority of material found within 2013 - 2014

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

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.


5 Linear Feet (1 document box, 1 carton, 1 large box, 1 framed lint sculptire, 4 framed awards, and 10 foamcore panels)


Memorial items created to honor the life and work of Huell Howser. All items were donated after Howser's passing in January 2013.


This collection is arranged by date.

Physical Location

B11B, Leatherby Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection is composed of gifts created and donated by various parties from 2013-2014, including Robert DaGasta, City of Los Angeles council member Tom Labonge, Slater Barron aka "the Lint Lady", Bud Stuart, Leann Dickson, and Santa Barbara Beautiful.
Finding aid for California's Gold memorial archive
In Progress
Angel Diaz and Briana Blanchard
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Leatherby Libraries Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange 92866 USA US