Longtime Louisville news anchor and journalist Ken Rowland dies at 91

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former WDRB business reporter and longtime journalist Ken Rowland has died.

His was a calm voice that guided a community through the 1974 tornadoes. He reported from the stairwell of a damaged home, as the camera pulled back to reveal not much else was left.

Many in Louisville remember his reporting on the court ordered busing crisis in the 70s. But it was a coal mine disaster in Hyden, Kentucky that killed 30 people that Rowland said impacted him most. 

Rowland also produced WDRB's business report from 1990 to 1998. 

Before that, he was director of research for an investment firm and a popular, longtime news anchor at WHAS and WLKY television. He also gave Louisville native Diane Sawyer her first TV job in the 1960s.

When asked how he wanted to be remembered, Rowland said, "As a fellow Louisvillian who tried ot tell it straight." 

Rowland grew up on a Kansas farm and served as a B-29 gunner in the U.S. Air Force before attending Kansas State University.  He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1997. 

Ken Rowland died Monday at the age of 91. 

In response to Rowland's passing, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement Monday afternoon:

“I was saddened to hear about the passing of Ken Rowland, a Kentucky broadcasting legend. Ken was a familiar face on Louisville news channels for decades, and I remember his award winning coverage during his days at WLKY and WHAS. Ken was a Hall of Fame journalist and I got to know him while serving as County Judge-Executive when he would report stories from the local courthouse. Elaine and I join with the city he loved to send our condolences to his wife and family and his TV family. He will be missed.”

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.