DURHAM (WTVD) -- Former ABC11 anchor Larry Stogner, considered the dean of local television news, passed away at his home Sunday night. He was 69.
"There is much to say. Larry had an incredible career here at ABC11 and led our newsroom for decades," said Caroline Welch, president and general manager of ABC11. "We will pay him the proper tribute as we have time to absorb this news and get more details."
Born in Burlington, North Carolina, on October 25, 1946, Stogner was raised in Yanceyville and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
A Vietnam veteran in the U.S. Air Force, Stogner began his television career at UNC-TV and worked as an anchor/reporter at WRAL-TV before joining ABC11 Eyewitness News in 1976. In 1982, he was named anchor of the 6 and 11 o'clock newscasts.
During his 40 years at ABC11, Larry covered presidential primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire, political conventions from 1988 to 2008 and presidential inaugurations from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. He recorded one-on-one interviews with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, George Bush, Sarah Palin, and many other prominent figures, both national and local.
Larry's experience took him to many far-off places. In the summer of 2002 he accompanied units of the 82nd Airborne Division into Afghanistan, where he provided live nightly reports from Kandahar and later produced an hour-long special Kandahar Diary. He traveled to the Persian Gulf to cover the ongoing conflict with Iraq, and to the Adriatic Sea, as U.S. Navy warplanes hammered targets in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. In 2010 he traveled to Haiti with the 82nd Airborne, providing live reports for ten days following the devastating earthquake there.
Larry also returned to Vietnam in 1995 to report on the 20th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, which effectively ended America's involvement in that conflict. His documentary called Back to Nam was nominated for an Emmy.
Other career highlights included his two long-ranging interviews with Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, a former Green Beret Captain at Fort Bragg serving three life terms for killing his wife and children in 1970. And Larry was the only reporter to travel to Japan and China to cover former Governor Jim Hunt on his first international trip to recruit foreign companies to expand into North Carolina.
In 2010, Larry was inducted into the prestigious NC Journalism Hall of Fame, the only local news anchor to be so honored. Two years later, he was inducted into the N.C. Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
In 2015, Larry retired from the anchor desk. When announcing his retirement, Larry also shared with his viewers and colleagues that he was battling ALS.