Don Herbert, the KFWB on-air personality who joined the station when it converted to an all-news format in 1968 and remained there for 30 years, died Saturday of complications from colon surgery at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He was 72.
Born Herb Rosenblum in Brooklyn in 1935, Herbert majored in broadcasting at the University of Alabama. He worked in radio and television stations in Little Rock, Ark., and Washington, D.C., before arriving in Southern California. According to friends, he worked in Los Angeles as a television weatherman, children's show host and writer for game-show producer Chuck Barris.
Herbert joined KFWB when it switched from its pop music format to 24-hour news on March 11, 1968. He worked as an anchor and reported on many major news stories in the country that year, including the assassinations of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tenn.
His interest in science and medical news led to what he considered one of his greatest accomplishments as a newsman, a series of reports called Operation Heart Start, which led tens of thousands of people to be trained in CPR.