Tony Valdez, a Latino man in a suit speaking at a podium.
Photo credit: Invision/Associated Press.

Tony Valdez, veteran Latino journalist and Emmy award winner, dies at 78

Emmy award winner and news anchor Tony Valdez leaves behind a memorable legacy in news.


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Tony Valdez, a longtime reporter for Fox 11 News, passed away at the age of 78 on May 5, 2023 from end-stage kidney failure. 

Valdez held a 35 year career with KTTV, beginning in 1981 and lasting until his retirement in 2016. He served as the host of Midday Sunday, co-anchoring with Christine Devine through the 1990s, and was host of the crime series LA's Most Wanted.

"Whether it's murder, mayhem, death or disaster, those are the things that I feel a sense of responsibility to report," said Valdez, during the announcement of his retirement.

Over his career, Valdez covered several impactful events, such as the Watts Riots, the trial of O.J. Simpson, and numerous political elections.

He also served as FOX 11's union shop steward and was the chairperson of the 8 Ball Foundation, which aided local journalists in need and awarded scholarships.

Prior to his position at KTTV, he worked with KTLA and KCET news networks, and for La Opiñion and The Los Angeles Herald-Express.

"Anyone who worked with Tony can tell you of his complete dedication to the truth in journalism. He knew this city inside and out," said FOX 11 anchor Christine Devine, on the station’s website.

Devine remarked on Valdez's work ethic, such as when he would spend Thanksgivings with his "FOX 11 family" and share tamales made by his aunt with his newsroom during Christmas, later with his grandson; a tradition carried on by FOX 11.

Valdez grew up in Los Angeles, and was a US army veteran, serving during the Vietnam War. Later in life, he worked as a docent at the LA Conservancy, leading tours of downtown Los Angeles.

Over his life and career, Valdez has received numerous Emmy, Golden Mike, and Los Angeles Press Club awards.

When Valdez began his career, he was one of the few Latino TV reporters at the time, and saw an absence of Latinos or people that looked like him, and credited himself for breaking the color barrier for Latinos, according to the FOX 11 website.

"Tony Valdez was a trailblazing reporter, advocate, and mentor. He was one of the first Latino journalists to break the color barrier in Los Angeles. And with pride, Tony said he spent 35 years, 5 months, and 4 days covering the stories of this city on KTTV,” said FOX 11 Acting News Director Pete Wilgoren.

“We are better journalists, and a better community, because of the coverage and compassion of Tony Valdez," he continued.

Valdez is survived by his son and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the LA Conservancy or the 8 Ball Foundation.


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