Legendary Emmy Award-winning Cleveland and Columbus news anchor, Doug Adair, passed away peacefully alongside family on Monday in Pleasanton, California.
Born May 29, 1929, in Xenia Ohio, Adair graduated from Northwestern University and served in the Air Force during the Korean War.
He then began his career in broadcast journalism in Dayton, Ohio.
A pioneer in local television news, Adair joined WJW-TV in Cleveland as both a reporter and anchor in 1958. In 1964, Adair and Joel Daly became part of the first ever two-man anchor team to report news from the same desk.
He later joined WKYC-TV in 1970 as a co-anchor. In 1983, he made his final move to WCMH-TV in Columbus. When he retired in 1994, he was Ohio’s longest-serving television news anchor.
A member of the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Adair reveled in the responsibility for delivering news to the people of Ohio.
Frequently awarded for his newscasts and news writing, Adair’s many highlights included interviewing important historical figures in U.S. history: Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, sitting U.S. Presidents and even notorious criminals of the time.
Adair also relished his role to report on the important societal and civic issues of the day. Despite his many honors, Adair’s biggest thrill was meeting the many viewers that invited him into their homes on a nightly basis. He loved being a trusted friend and a part of their lives, which was evident when watching him personally connect with each fan that he met.
Adair also used his platform to highlight causes close to his heart and give back to the communities that he dearly loved.
He was presented with both the Faith of Freedom Award and the Catholic Church’s National Gabriel Award for his series, “The Crisis in Christianity.” After his “Clothes for Christmas” campaign for needy children, Adair received the Bishop’s Award of the Episcopal Church and was named Cleveland’s Outstanding Citizen by the Holy Name Society.
In addition to being honored by Big Brothers of Greater Cleveland, he received the Outstanding Community Service Award from the joint Veteran’s Commission.
He served on the boards of Goodwill Industries, the United Way, the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Columbus and the Council of the Churches of Cleveland. In his spare time, Adair could be found surrounded by friends and family at the golf course, watching his favorite sports teams, or cheering for his racehorses.
Adair is survived by his wife; Jean, his children; Lee (Nori), Tim (Jeanne), and Lynn (Ken), grandchildren; James (Libby), Julie (Doug), Eva, Sarah (Bruce), and Kim, and 8 great-grandchildren.
Family and friends are invited to attend Adair’s celebration at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, where Doug was a Founding Father (9549 Highland Drive in Brecksville Ohio, 44141).
Calling hours are from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on June 1 with services to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association through the online Doug Adair tribute page.