When some Chicagoans hear the phrase, “The man, the myth, the legend,” they may associate it with longtime journalist Harry Porterfield, who died Monday morning at the age of 95.
Porterfield was on television in the Windy City for 51 years, with 30 of them spent working for CBS 2, the station reported. He was described as “legendary” and signed off in 2015 by retiring.
“Harry was a deeply admired and well-loved journalist. An icon who impacted the community he served. He’s left an unforgettable legacy for all of Chicago,” Jennifer Lyons, president and general manager at CBS 2, said.
Porterfield’s family told his former employer that he died of natural causes after a short illness, and was surrounded by loved ones at the time in Munster, Indiana.
During his tenure at the station he hosted a segment called “Someone You Should Know,” where he featured “ordinary Chicagoans doing extraordinary things,” the station said.
“Porterfield, who had been the station’s only African American weekday news anchor, was proud the end result was more job opportunities for minority journalists,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Porterfield started his career in radio before moving to Chicago in 1964, his granddaughter told the newspaper. He started off as a TV writer prior to being moved to reporter, and eventually, anchor.
“He loved his work. He put a lot of effort into it. He was a perfectionist,” his granddaughter told the Sun-Times. “He rarely missed a day and worked holidays until late in his career. We would always wait for him to get home to have Thanksgiving.”
Journalism runs in the family. Porterfield’s granddaughter, Amanda Porterfield, is a news anchor and reporter at CBS 58 in Milwaukee, according to her online station biography.
Porterfield reportedly leaves behind a wife of more than five decades, four children, one grandchild, and a great-grandchild.
A private funeral is being planned, but his family is also looking into organizing a public memorial in Chicago.
Porterfield also worked at WLS-TV, the ABC affiliate said on its website.