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Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Sunday, April 02, 2006 at 12:38:48 :

Marin Independent Journal
Monday, June 4, 1962

Radio Program Pioneer Dies

Gerald Gay Belcher of Larkspur, credited with originating the radio man on the street interview, was dead on arrival at a local hospital last night after becoming suddenly ill at home. He was 66.

Belcher, who was under medication for a lung ailment, took some sleeping pills before retiring at his home at 9 Orange Avenue at 9 p.m. Thirty minutes later, his wife, Ruth, found he was violently ill. She called a doctor, who in turn called Marin Ambulance Service.

The ambulance arrived at 10:10 p.m. Belcher was dead when it reached Marin General Hospital five minutes later.

Coroner Frank J. Keaton said an autopsy would be performed.

Belcher had been ill for five years, and last July fractured his hip in an accident.

Belcher entered radio work shortly after completing service as an Army Air Service observer in World War I. His first job was with the “Vox Pop” program. Later he started his own program, featuring on-the-street-interviews.

Belcher also did the first in-the-home interviews, antedating Edward R. Murrow by more than 30 years, his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Chapman, Larkspur, said.

He was born in Austin, Tex., Nov. 7, 1895.

He also leaves a brother, Eugene H. Belcher of Austin.

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Wednesday, June 6, 1962

Gerald Belcher

Graveside services for Gerald Gay (Jerry) Belcher, 66, of Larkspur will be held tomorrow at 1:45 p.m. at Golden Gate National Cemetery, in Bruno.

Belcher, a pioneer radio interviewer, died Sunday. Funeral arrangements are under direction of Bayview Chapel, Berkeley

Death Notice in the June 6 edition:
Husband of Ruth Belcher; father of Betsy Chapman; grandfather of Teresa Chapman; native of Austin, Texas. Member of Unitarian Universalist Church of Marin.

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