Longtime LA reporter and anchor Jess Marlow dies

A screenshot from NBC4 shows former news reporter and anchor Jess Marlow. He died Sunday at 84.
A screenshot from NBC4 shows former news reporter and anchor Jess Marlow. He died Sunday at 84.
Courtesy NBC4

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Funeral arrangements were pending Monday for Los Angeles television newsman Jess Marlow — familiar to many Angelenos from his more than 40 years on KNBC and KCBS — who died Sunday in a Denver-area nursing home from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 84.

The former anchor, who retired in 1997, was a native of Salem, Ill., and started out at a home-state television station in Rock Island before moving to San Jose, where he worked as a reporter and anchor for then ABC affiliate KNTV.

He came to KNBC in Los Angeles in 1966 to as a reporter, rising to anchor in 1968.

Video: NBC news update from 1978 with Jess Marlow

At one point, Marlow co-anchored the 5 p.m. news with Tom Snyder and the 11 p.m. news with Tom Brokaw.

He moved to KCBS in 1980 and returned to KNBC in 1986.

In a statement released Monday by Tom Brokaw, the former NBC Nightly News anchor who worked at KNBC with Marlow said:

"Jess Marlow was a first-rate journalist and a beloved figure in the newsroom. He was an important part of the team that inaugurated the two-hour local news on KNBC and served as anchor of every broadcast at one time or another. He also had a wicked sense of humor. After one of Evel Knievel's many crashes, Jess said, 'Evel rides fast and thinks slow.' My heart goes out to his wife, Phyllis and his daughter, Susan."

NBC4 issued the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that we report the loss of our beloved colleague, Jess Marlow. Jess, a legend in local news, started his career at NBC4 in 1966 and was an anchor on the 5 p.m. newscast. He also was the host on the station's public affairs show, News Conference. A native of Illinois, he became NBC4's first bureau chief in Orange County. He started his career in radio and during many years in broadcast news, he received countless industry awards for his work in Southern California and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jess passed away Sunday in Colorado where had moved to be close to his daughter. NBC4 sends its deepest condolences to the Marlow family and everyone who knew and worked alongside Jess.  He will be deeply missed."

In retirement, he worked on and off for public station KCET, hosting "Life & Times" until 2003 and, later, he and wife Phyllis moved to Santa Fe, N.M., then to Colorado.

Marlow, who won numerous local Emmys, was active in journalism organizations and helped start the Foundation for American Communications.

Here's what folks on Twitter had to say about the longtime journalist.

Storify: Tweets about Jess Marlow

[AUDIO: NBC 4 reporter Conan Nolan chats with KPCC's Nick Roman and remembers his former colleague Jess Marlow.]