David Louie, one of the Bay Area's first Asian American TV reporters, retires after 50 years

Asian American TV reporter David Louie has marked the end of his 50-year career at ABC7 in San Francisco.

Louie, who became a trailblazer for Asian American journalists, celebrated his retirement at the Ferry Plaza’s Wine Merchant with his colleagues on Wednesday.

He was one of the first Asian American journalists hired by a TV news outlet in the Bay Area, and he has been on air the longest. Louie, a native of Cleveland, first started his career path in journalism at the age of 5 when he first appeared on a weekly public affairs program in Ohio.

Louie joined ABC7 News back in 1972, where he began as a general assignment reporter. He headed the station’s Peninsula bureau and became its technology and business reporter before serving as the Station’s South Bay Bureau Chief.

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Over the years, Louie took on many of the Bay Area’s biggest stories, including the Loma Prieta earthquake and the kidnapping of Patty Hearst. He also covered the 9/11 attack in Washington, DC, and the Chowchilla Kidnapping in 1976, when a school bus driver and 26 children were kidnapped and held in a box truck. According to Louie, he was the first to learn the children had been found safe.

Moreover, Louie has traveled to Asia many times to cover historical stories, such as the People Power Revolution in the Philippines that ended with former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos going into exile.

In addition, Louie served on the board of directors of the Radio and Television Digital News Directors Association and as the president of the Asian American Journalists Association.

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ABC7 news anchor Kristen Sze was brought to tears as she recalled how she was awarded her first scholarship by Louie.

“You were one of the Asian American Journalists Association’s founders and veterans who believed in me as a college student and gave me a scholarship,” Sze told Louie while on air. “When I got that plaque from you, and you were the one who handed it to me, it really was such an encouragement. After watching you all these years and seeing an Asian American face on television at a time when there weren’t a lot, [made me believe] there’s a place for me in TV news, too. That meant so much.”

ABC7 News anchor Dan Ashley also highlighted Louie’s kindness and impact in the community. Louie is actively involved in philanthropy and charity work, and recently endowed a scholarship for Asian American students at his alma mater at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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“It’s just an example of the influence and impact you have had, not just in the community, but here within our little ABC7 family. You are beloved, as you know,” Ashley said.

 

Featured Image via ABC7 News Bay Area