Bruce King, who began his career in TV in 1960, became KOMO’s sports director in 1968. He made the move to New York City in 1980, but returned to KOMO the next year and remained with the station until his retirement in 1999.
Retired KOMO sports anchor Bruce King has died at age 83 of prostate cancer.
Mr. King, who had been under hospice care for two months, died at his Snoqualmie Ridge residence early Wednesday.
Mr. King was one of Seattle’s most recognizable and friendly media and sports personalities before retiring in 1999 at age 65.
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When Mr. King was about to retire, Eric Johnson of KOMO told a Times reporter, “Everything you see on TV, it’s not an act. He doesn’t go out there and flip on a switch and become Bruce King. It’s the way the guy is.”
Mr. King told one interviewer, “Life is too short not to smile.”
Bob Rondeau, the “Voice of the Huskies” who is about to retire, began working with Mr. King in 1978 as the color analyst on Washington football broadcasts when Mr. King was doing the play-by-play.
When Mr. King went to WABC in New York in 1980 for a year, Rondeau took over as play-by-play announcer.
“Bruce was one of the best human beings I’ve ever met,” said Rondeau.
Rondeau called Mr. King “my mentor” and said, “he was always ready with any kind of assistance.” That started immediately at KOMO as Mr. King suggested to Rondeau on one of his first days of work, “Why don’t you come with me?” Mr. King proceeded to introduce Rondeau to coaches, players and management of Seattle sports teams. Rondeau sensed immediately that everyone enjoyed dealing with Mr. King.
Mr. King was diagnosed with polio at age 3 and walked with a limp throughout his life. He was born and grew up in Salem, Ore., and attended the University of Oregon. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 11 years ago.
Mr. King’s first TV job was in 1960 at KEZI in Eugene. After stints at KNTV in San Jose and KABC in Los Angeles, he joined KOMO in 1968, leaving only for the one-year stint in New York before management upheaval prompted a return to Seattle.
During his three decades at KOMO he was named state sportscaster of the year four times. Facing a KOMO camera as he was about to retire, Mr. King said, “I got very lucky at being at the right place at the right time to do something I have enjoyed immensely.”
Mr. King played golf most of his adult life and hosted a benefit tournament for the Federal Way Boys & Girls Club for more than 25 years.
Mr. King and his wife Bonnie were married for 52 years. The couple’s son, Mike, lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and their daughter, Karen King, lives in Federal Way. Karen King’s son, Bennett Jarvis, attends the University of Washington.
Plans for a memorial event are pending.