Norman Reade DePoe

Norman Reade DePoe, broadcaster, journalist (b at Portland, Ore 4 May 1917; d at Toronto 13 Mar 1980). In his prime in the eventful 1960s, he was for 8 years CBC-TV's chief Ottawa correspondent and a household name as Canadian broadcasting's star reporter on national and international affairs. His colourful screen image was enhanced by rumpled features, raspy voice and a reputation as a hard-drinking, plain-spoken, go-for-broke newsman.

He came to Canada at 6, took out citizenship in 1931, attended UBC, served as a signals corps captain in Italy and northwest Europe during WWII, and studied French and Italian at the University of Toronto after the war. He joined the CBC news service in 1948 and helped create the TV news operation in the 1950s. Viewers applauded a reporter who was worldly yet caring and not afraid to puncture official pomposity. Colleagues envied his extraordinary memory and his ability to boil a complicated story down to 90 seconds of clear, crisp English. At a time when electronic journalism was finding its feet, he set standards that proved enduring.