Ken Ward, a local TV reporter, has died
Former WSOC-TV Eyewitness News reporter Ken Ward has died at the age of 44.
According to Bill Fish, an investigator with the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ward’s body was picked up from Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. The cause of death was not immediately known, he said.
“He seemed like the picture of health,” said Ken Lemon, President of the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists. He said Ward’s death “hit a lot of people pretty hard.”
Lemon and Ward were co-workers at WSOC-TV. Lemon works at the Gaston Bureau.
Ward’s last day on air with the station was December 30. According to the station, he had recently accepted a position as a reporter with an ABC affiliate in Tampa, Fla.
According to Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, of which Ward was a member, he died Wednesday morning at 2:30 a.m. It was the same day, according the fraternity, that Ward and his family were planning their drive to Tampa Bay to begin their new lives.
“This should have been a great day for him, and it’s sad that this has happened,” said Lemon. “He was a very young guy.”
Lemon said he will always remember Ward’s bright smile and kind-hearted nature.
“Ken was a very nice co-worker,” he said. “He was very active in doing community events … He had a very pleasant demeanor. He was the kind of guy, that anytime you saw him at work, he had a smile and a handshake — from the first day he came here until the last time I talked to him. And to know that we’re not going to see his smile or get to shake his hand again is very heart-breaking.”
WBTV reporter Dedrick Russell says he was also stunned by the news of his colleague’s death.
“When I found out this morning, it was a low blow,” he said. “I was in disbelief.”
Russell, also a member of CAABJ, knew Ward from his interactions with the association. He said the last time the two saw each other was during an event held last summer to raise money for CAABJ’s college scholarship fund. He said Ward attended the event with his wife, Letitia Ward.
“His death is a huge loss to the journalism industry,” Russell said. “My heart goes out to his wife, and I am sending prayers up for his family.”
According to another CAABJ member Davida Jackson, Ward and his wife had just celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary on New Year’s Eve. He is survived by one son.
Ward was a graduate of Hampton University and The College of New Rochelle with degrees in Journalism and Communications.
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