Larry Himmel

Larry Himmel

SAN DIEGO—This city lost a broadcasting icon. Long time journalist Larry Himmel passed away at age 68 from brain cancer.

Himmel was a reporter/weatherman for KFMB Channel 8 since 1979. The news station announced his passing on Thursday.

According to KFMB, Himmel, a Chicago native, kept his cancer battle private. Despite his illness, Himmel kept on working on light-hearted segments about the San Diego community.

In 1969, Himmel launched his broadcasting career spinning records at WSIV radio in Pekin, Illinois, according to his bio on KFMB’s website. He briefly taught seventh-grade English in Illinois before returning to the airwaves at several radio stations in Indiana, Canada, and Chicago. Himmel packed his bags and headed to San Diego.

In 1977, Himmel kept busy bartending and polishing his act as a stand-up comedian at the La Jolla Comedy Store. He also landed a six-year gig as a DJ, “The “Cruiser” at KGB-FM radio.

In 1979, Himmel got his big break when a KFMB executive producer saw his act at the Comedy Store, and hired him at the news station. “Larry Himmel at Large” and “San Diego at Large” was born.

In 2007, Himmel gained national fame when he covered the destruction of the San Diego Witch Creek Fire. He watched, and reported live on the air, the burning of his Rancho Bernardo home. That coverage earned him an Emmy Award in 2008.

The broadcasting icon will be remembered for his love of the San Diego community, and its residents.

Himmel is survived by his wife, Joan, and son, Miles, who is producer of the Mike Slater radio show on KFMB-AM.