His name is David Henry Ward, but to thousands of Eyewitness News viewers who wouldn’t miss Channel 13’s nightly 6 and 10 pm newscasts, he is simply known as “Dave”. Dave has been a radio and television broadcaster for 57 years. Getting the facts right, consistently– that’s what defines Dave Ward. A true Texas original, Dave has made his mark as one of the nation’s most respected news anchors for more than four decades. In his trademark down-to-earth style, he begins every newscast with “Good evening, friends,” and has for 48 years. It is that candor and dedication together with unbiased integrity in getting every side of the story that’s helped him become the “most trusted newsman in Houston.”
Born in Dallas, he grew up in Huntsville and began his radio career with KGKB Radio in Tyler while attending Tyler Junior College. Three years later, he joined the staff of Waco Radio as a staff announcer and quickly climbed to Program Director the following year. Dave moved to Houston in 1962 where he worked for KNUZ Radio as a News Reporter and then News Director for 4 years. Known for his grit and determination, Dave worked every angle of the story from the police beat to tropical storms. “I like that– that I can get out on the streets and talk to people– see what they’re thinking.”
Dave made the move to Channel 13 in 1966 as the station’s only on-the-street News Reporter.
Coming “inside” in early 1967 to anchor Ch.13’s weekday 7 am newscast, Dave vividly remembers being unaware that there even was a 7 am newscast. Later that year, he became the first host of the wildly popular “Dialing for Dollars” program, which later evolved into “Good Morning Houston.” Houston viewers began to flock to watch him and in 1968, Dave became the anchor of Eyewitness News at 6 and 10, leading the broadcast to the number one rating in Houston and an unprecedented 40-year dominance as the most watched broadcast in Houston. To this day, Eyewitness News continues to rank #1 in Houston households and Dave remains Houston’s most-watched and most- beloved news anchor.
Dave’s tireless work has included coverage of some of the most powerful and influential people in Texas and United States history. Dave covered the election of every President since John F. Kennedy, every Texas Governor since John Connolly, and every Houston Mayor since Lewis Quetre. He covered most of the national political conventions from 1964-1992 and fondly remembers interviewing Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller and accompanying President George H. W. Bush on Air Force One for an interview. In 2011, Dave was invited to the White House for a one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama, discussing topics from the presidential campaign to drilling for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. He was one of only 10 News Anchors nationwide to be included.
Dave has worked extensively with NASA on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and shuttle missions. He is the only reporter to be present and report on both the first shuttle flight and the last. He has interviewed Alan Shepherd, the first American in space and Captain Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, along with many fellow Astronauts. Most recently, Dave sat down with Commander Scott Kelley, who is currently spending a full year at the International Space Station.
Form fires, explosions, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes throughout Texas and the southern states, Dave has covered it all. He has interviewed people from all walks of life, from Presidents to drug dealers. He has traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, and Colombia to report on numerous stories with a Houston connection. Dave accompanied a Houston delegation to the Paris Peace Talks once and spent a week in Germany examining mass transit solutions that could potentially benefit Houston.
Trying to encapsulate Dave’s community service is almost impossible. He has lent his expertise and commanding voice to serve as Master of Ceremonies for charitable and civic events too numerous to mention. There are few nonprofit organizations that have not benefitted from Dave’s professionalism, generosity, and his willingness to serve his community.
Dave has done so much for so many organizations but his work with Crime Stoppers of Houston has been and continues to be historic and unparalleled. At the time of the program’s inception in 1981, it was Dave who was instrumental in establishing Crime Stoppers of Houston and throughout the world. His creation of crime reenactments has become the model of excellence for similar programs across the country and throughout the world. He became Crime Stoppers first on-air reporter and his unwavering passion and commitment to mitigate crimes in our city remains steadfast to this day. In January of 2017, Crime Stoppers of Houston opened the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters anywhere in the world. The Dave Ward Building, located in the heart of Midtown, takes up an impressive 28,000 square feet and stands three stories tall.
In 1973, Dave received the City of Houston Public Service Award for his work on the Managua earthquake and fondly remembers that Mayor Louis Welch presented the award. In 2002, Dave received the prestigious Leon Goldstein Award for Outstanding Service in Fighting Crime from Crime Stoppers. In 2007, he was awarded an Emmy for his exceptional work on an ABC -13 Special entitled, “Steve Tyrell: The Accidental Singer.” Dave and Steve were actually in a band together 50 years ago and they remain close friends today. Then in 2011, Dave received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and was inducted into their prestigious Silver Circle. “It makes me very proud. It fills me with humility that my peers would accept me for what I’ve done.”
Dave is past president of Houston Easter Seals Society and has hosted several Easter Seals Telethons. He is a past member of the Public Affairs Advisory Board of the Houston Business Council, Public Information Committee of the American Cancer Society, the Board of Directors of the Leukemia Society and the Press Club of Houston. He is a Lifetime Member of Crime Stoppers and the 100 Club of Houston, Endowed Lifetime Member of the Partnership for Baylor College of Medicine, and a Lifetime Member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Dave is an original contributor to the Houston Police Foundation and currently serves on their Board of Directors. And Dave serves on the Advisory Board of Houston Children’s Charity.
Dave has distinguished himself not only as the longest-running anchor in the City of Houston, but he holds that distinction nationwide; no other news anchor has been on the same newscast, on the same station, as long as Dave Ward. In addition, he has earned an esteemed reputation as one of Houston’s most dedicated public servants and his viewers fondly refer to “Dave” as the “Face of Channel 13” and the “Most trusted voice in Houston.” Dave’s new biography, appropriately titled Good Evening, Friends in honor of the famed broadcaster’s signature on-air greeting, is available to the public starting May 2019. Keep in touch with Dave here.