Press Club Mourns Death of Gene Webster, Former President

Sunday, September 18, 2011 5:50 PM

Gene Webster, former Los Angeles Press Club president, died Sept. 16, following an illness. A memorial will be held Saturday October 1, 2011 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City from 10 am until 2.

Dec. 27, 1924 – Sept. 16, 2011

Gene Webster, former KABC-TV Editorial Director, winner of 4 Golden Mikes, and author of Random Meanderings, (a quarterly editorial newsletter), passed away at home, Friday, September 16, 2011.

Webster was born December 27, 1924 in Shelton, Nebraska and graduated from Stadium High School. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II (1943-46) after which he moved to Los Angeles and became a KNX/CBS Radio Staff Writer & Director for 18 years. Next, he worked for MGM/Paramount/CBS Films for 3 years as a movie publicist, promoting such films as Doctor Zhivago, The Sterile Cuckoo, With Six You Get Eggroll; and television programs such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. From there he moved over to KABC-TV as the Editorial Director for the next 18 years. Some of Webster’s many activities/achievements in his life included: past President & Board Member of Greater Los Angeles Press Club, Board Member of Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, Co-Founder & Board Member of National Broadcast Editorial Association, member of Directors Guild of America, member of Writers Guild of America, West, and friend of Bill W. for 49+ years. Webster was a long time member and past President of the Los Angles County Commission on Alcoholism. While writing an editorial on organ donation, he contacted a friend, resulting in a bill that went into legislation the next day which enabled the iconic “pink dot” organ donor symbol on the California driver’s licenses. Webster was proud to have convinced State Senator Herschel Rosenthal to carry a bill (effective 1987) requiring training for doctors, nurses and social workers in the state of California to recognize the symptoms of alcohol and other drugs as a disease which could be treated. No other state was requiring this training at that time. Gene was an avid jazz music fan, painter, world traveler, grand raconteur in many modes, and lover of life.

Gene is survived by “the love of his life”, Margaret K. Henchman (Kathie), his son, Kipp Webster, and grandson, Stuart Webster. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Jill Meredith Webster and son, Shaun Michael Webster.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, October 1st, 2011, from 10 am-2 pm.

Leave a Comment