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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The Shreveport community and the ArkLaTex have lost a broadcast legend. Bob Griffin, the longtime sports director, radio host and travel enthusiast passed away Monday, Feb. 3 after a brief illness. He was 85.

Bob began his broadcast career when television was in its infancy. KSLA went on the air in 1954 and Bob joined the team in 1961. He was originally hired as the station announcer, but he said he was bored and wanted to do more. Then News Director Don Owen offered him the opportunity to do :30 seconds of sports in the newscasts and Bob jumped at the chance. He also even anchored the weather.

Bob was well-known for KSLA’s children's show "Bob and His Buddies." The program, which was entertaining as well as educational, featured children who showed off their talents. Many adults in the area still reminisce about appearing on the program with Bob.

Bob Griffin and KSLA news, weather and sports anchors - Al Bolton, Don Owen (News Director), Sylvia Rachal

As sports director he followed and highlighted the careers of many athletes who started their careers and competed in the region. Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman, Hal Sutton, David Toms, Freddie Spencer and Karl Malone are just some of the star athletes who crossed paths with Bob.

Bob Griffin interviews NFL Legend Terry Bradshaw

Bob Griffin interviews Heavy Weight Boxing champion George Foreman

Bob Griffin interviews PGA champion Hal Sutton

Bob Griffin poses with NBA great Karl "The Mailman" Malone

NBA Power Forward Karl Malone

Malone found out Bob passed while at Barksdale Air Force Base teaching intramural players.

"My mom would always tell me if you're good enough to play at the next level, whatever that is, somebody will find you right here in Summerfield and Bob Griffin at Summerfield High School did my first live interview. So I remember Bob forever and then when he retired the one time, me and my family did a little special thing for him and his wife's vacation so my heart goes out to him because I had no idea.” - Karl Malone
Bob Griffin and Tony Taglavore

Sweet Lou Media Owner Tony Taglavore worked with Bob at KSLA for 18 years. Taglavore started as an intern in 1982, then became the weekend sports anchor/reporter and later reported for the morning newscast in a segment called “Tony Live.”

“To work with Bob was the greatest privilege of my professional life. When I started, I had no business being on TV. But Bob saw something in me. Bob believed in me. Any professional success I have achieved, Bob is largely responsible.” - Tony Taglavore - Sweet Lou Media

Taglavore admires Bob more for his personal life than what he did in broadcasting.

"I was most moved not by anything Bob did on-air, but what he did off-air. How in his 50’s, he turned his life around. Bob found God and became a wonderful husband and family man. He loved Shreveport-Bossier and the Ark-La-Tex. He always championed our area and its people. More than 50 years in the same market. Bob was a broadcasting legend—and a legendary friend to the many people blessed to know him." - Tony Taglavore, Sweet Lou Media

Bob married his wife, Denise, in 1991. They have two daughters - Katy McCown (husband Luke) and Kristy Payne (husband Keith). Bob and Denise have 10 grandchildren: Seth, Will, Jacob, Caleb, Jonah, Elijah, Micah, Annah, Isaiah and Leah.

Denise and Bob Griffin attend a Lifetime Achievement Award event honoring Bob at the Shreveport Convention Center August 16, 2008.

Former KSLA Anchor/Reporter Sylvia Rachal anchored newscasts with Bob in the 1980's and 1990's. She remembers Bob as a masterful storyteller and a master of kindness.

Bob semi-retired from KSLA in May 2002. Even in semi-retirement he anchored and reported sports on the weekends. He also continued his travel segments “Griffin’s ArkLaTex” highlighting people and places close to home. Bob also traveled the world and shared his experiences with viewers back home.

Bob left KSLA in 2008 and continued his career at KTBS where he kept sharing his love for travel and continued to anchor and report.

When Bob wasn't working on TV or on the radio, you could find him volunteering his time to spread the word about Community Renewal International. It's mission is to "connect neighbors and residents to restore the foundation of safe and caring communities."

“Bob Griffin was an active and vocal cheerleader for the Shreveport-Bossier area and for the work of Community Renewal. He was a friend to our entire team. Whether it was speaking on our behalf at a downtown lunch club or using his connections to help a struggling teenager find a job, Bob was simply a friend. Rest in peace my brother.” Jimmy Graves - Community Renewal, Director of Development

Bob received numerous awards for his work including the Independence Bowl Sportsman of the Year (2000) and the Louisiana Sportscaster of the Year (2005) from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He was Inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2018 the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Mid-America Chapter inducted Bob into the prestigious Gold Circle for more than 50 years of contributions in the broadcast industry.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Mid-America Chapter Prestigious Gold & Silver Circle event in Shreveport - July 28, 2018. Steve Stephens - KTHV; Bob Steel - Ark. Radio Network, KATV, KARK; Bob Griffin - KSLA, KTBS; Semmie Buffin - KSLA; Mike Narisi - KATV, KARK, KTHV (not pictured: Jenifer Andrews - KNOE and Todd Warren - KTAL)