Chuck Upthegrove, former WHIO-TV chief photographer and Hall of Fame broadcaster, dies at 91

DAYTON — The WHIO-TV family is mourning the loss of retired chief photographer Charles Upthegrove, who worked for News Center 7 for 38 years in a career that began with a few still photographs of a car crash.

>> PHOTOS: WHIO-TV Chief Photographer Chuck Upthegrove through the years

He died Thursday, Sept. 28, his family said. He was 91.

In 1958, Chuck, as he liked to be called, snapped some photos of a car crash and dropped them off at Channel 7.

Don Wayne, the anchor at the time, liked Upthegrove’s work.

The following week, WHIO-TV hired Upthegrove.

That hiring spawned his career as a videographer that included photographing news and newsmakers throughout the Miami Valley, the Midwest, and France for the Paris Air Show in 1983. His subjects included Presidents John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford, astronaut Neil Armstrong and many other national and international newsmakers in Dayton and throughout the world.

Wayne and Upthegrove covered decades of stories, traveling to Vietnam during the war, reporting from Xenia after a deadly tornado in 1974 and flew to Germany in 1981 to cover Steve Lauterbach of Dayton, one of 52 hostages freed from Iran after 444 days.

Upthegrove was inducted into the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2005.

Jim Baldridge, another retired News Center 7 anchor, called Chuck an “old-time TV photographer. . . [who] never stopped telling reporters what to do.”

Anchor Cheryl McHenry, speaking Thursday evening, said Upthegrove always called people “babes or on-air people ‘star.’ "

McHenry, who said she loved his laugh and his candor, would tell him he called out to people that way because “he didn’t know any of our names.”

Upthegrove is the second member of the WHIO family lost this week.

Don Brown, longtime WHIO Radio and TV veteran broadcaster and anchor, died Sunday. The Dayton native was 63.

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