Obituary: Herb Kaplow / Voice of ABC, NBC news for more than 40 years

Feb. 2, 1927 - July 27, 2013

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Herb Kaplow, a longtime Washington correspondent who for more than four decades brought an authoritative voice to his reporting from all 50 states and more than 50 countries for NBC News and ABC News, died Saturday in Arlington, Va. He was 86.

The cause was a stroke, his family said.

Mr. Kaplow's resonant voice and craggy face were familiar to generations of viewers of the nightly news broadcasts, and he seemed to be present wherever the action was, first for NBC and then for ABC, spending about 20 years with each.

He covered the White House and 10 presidential campaigns, including 19 nominating conventions from 1956 to 1992. He reported on major moments of the civil rights movement, including the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling to desegregate schools, and the Freedom Riders' fighting to integrate buses in the early 1960s. He reported extensively on the U.S. space program.

He covered the Cuban revolution that culminated in the victory of communists led by Fidel Castro in 1959. After the disastrous invasion of Cuba by U.S.-backed Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, he was the first American reporter to interview Mr. Castro.

Mr. Kaplow covered Richard Nixon for decades. Mr. Kaplow was in Venezuela in 1958 when an angry crowd pelted Vice President Nixon's limousine with rocks. He was also in China in 1972 when President Nixon made his historic trip there.

Herbert Elias Kaplow was born on Feb. 2, 1927, in New York City. His father and mother were Jewish immigrants from Europe. While a student at Queens College, he was drafted into the Army and eventually assigned to the American Forces Radio Service.

After his discharge, he returned to Queens College and earned a degree in history. After a stint as an announcer at WCTC radio in New Brunswick, N.J., from July 1948 to January 1950, he earned a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Mr. Kaplow then went to Washington to work for WRC, an NBC radio affiliate.

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