Joe Langston, legendary Birmingham news anchor, dies at 82

Joe Leonard Langston, Sr.

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Joe Leonard Langston, Sr., a local news legend and Alabama Broadcasters Association Hall of Famer, died Saturday at 82. Langston, a Tuscaloosa native and University of Alabama alumnus, got his start in broadcasting in 1954 while serving in the Army as a Radio Broadcast and Propaganda Officer in Psychological Warfare. Upon his discharge, he returned home, taking a job as the station manager at WNPT. In 1963, Langston made the move to Birmingham to serve as a reporter and anchor for a local news station. Six years later, he became the Director of News and Editorial Policy. Over the course of his 24-year career in the Magic City, Langston won every major award from the Associated Press and United Press International Broadcasters Association. He retired from the news industry in 1987, accepting an endowed chair in the Department of Communication at Jacksonville State University, a position he held until 1998. Langston, a longtime Mountain Brook resident, is survived by his wife, Margaret, two children and three grandchildren. To read his full bio on the ABA website, click here.

ABC 33/40 Chief Meteorologist James Spann on the passing of his former co-worker Langston:

"Every local market has a TV legend from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It was a time when broadcast news became relevant and very important. In Birmingham, Joe Langston was that legend. I first started watching Joe when I moved to Tuscaloosa in 1966 (at the ripe age of 10), and then got to work with him at Channel 13 in the 1980s."Joe was professional, accurate, and fair. He was a great family man, and a man of integrity. I cherish the "good ole days" when I was part of the anchor team with Joe and Pam Huff."With sadness I learned today that Joe died today at the age of 82. {}He was a great mentor in that my formal education was in physical science and not communication. I learned mass communication from people like Joe. He was kind, funny, and never in a bad mood. Rest in peace, friend...."