Monday, October 30, 2006

Larry Neal Stogner

Occasionally it seems fitting to explore the history of the living. We spend most of our time at the Caswell County Historical Association covering people and events of the far past. Today our most-deserving subject is Larry Neal Stogner.

Larry Stogner was born 1947 in Burlington, North Carolina, to the late Earl Brown Stogner and Dorothy May Watlington. However, it is Yanceyville, North Carolina (Caswell County) that Larry calls his "hometown". Except for a year in Danville, Virginia, Larry attended school in Yanceyville, graduating from Bartlett Yancey High School in 1965.

Then it was off to college at the University of North Carolina, where his education was interrupted by the Vietnam War, in which Larry served as a member of the United States Air Force. After the War, he completed his education and graduated from UNC in 1973. First working as a reporter at WRAL in Raleigh, Larry then joined the news team at ABC affiliate WTVD (Channel 11 locally). He sat behind the anchor desk for the first time at 11 p.m. March 8, 1976. And, except for a short assignment to the Raleigh Bureau in the late 1970's, Larry has been the well-known WTVD news anchorman.

Thus, Caswell County's own Larry Stogner, who recently celebrated thirty years with WTVD, has become the senior broadcast journalist in the northern Piedmont market (Raleigh-Durham and surrounding areas). For many (almost a million each day), the evening news is not the same without Larry's presence.

When Larry was surprised on-air with a thirty-year anniversary cake, here is what his colleague Angela Hampton had to say:
Those of you who watched WTVD in March 1976 will know exactly what we're talking about. It was 30 years ago that Eyewitness News anchor Larry Stogner started his long and successful career here at ABC11.

When you think about news in this part of North Carolina, you naturally think about Larry Stogner. Before Jennings, Brokaw and Rather - - there was Stogner. Larry beat those broadcast legends to the anchor desk by five years.

Larry began his career at ABC11 on March 8, 1976. That summer, America celebrated its 200th birthday - - and in the fall, a peanut farmer from Georgia, Jimmy Carter, was elected president.

So many things about our hometowns and our world have changed since then, but Larry remains a constant, comforting presence on the 5:00 and 6:00 editions of ABC11 Eyewitness News.

When Governor Jim Hunt made his first, historic trade trip to China, it was Larry who walked side-by-side at the Great Wall. Larry reported to us when Dean, Michael and James brought back the first NCAA championship to Chapel Hill.

When ABC11 viewers gave more than $1 million dollars for firefighters' families after 9/11, it was Larry who hand-delivered the check to New York's police commissioner.
It was Larry who insisted that he be on the ground with our Fort Bragg troops as they fought the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Larry has brought us many memorable stories over these past thirty years, but mainly, we appreciate our anchor man for who he is: Native North Carolinian, working journalist, proud Vietnam veteran and our good friend.

This month, we're saying, "Thanks for the company, Larry." Here's to the years to come.

And from those of us who knew Larry from childhood, we're saying: "Thanks for the friendship and making us proud."

References and Links

WTVD Statement
News and Observer Article
Larry's Web Log

Larry and his wife Bobbi live in Durham, North Carolina.

1 comment:

  1. Very sad to learn of Larry's diagnosis and retirement from abc11 (WTVD). Certainly wish Larry and his family all the best going forward.