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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Former KTRK photographer Marshall Jard's legacy

L. "Marshall" Jard III Feb. 19, 1944 - July 3, 2013

L. Marshall Jard
L. Marshall Jard
In early July, I had a note that former abc13 KTRK photographer L. Marshall Jard III, 69, had passed away.

What I didn't have a chance to tell you about was his impact on Houston TV.

With the passing of Jard, also passes a TV journalist who didn't need an assignments desk editor for a story. Jard was one of those old school guys who management trusted to unleash on the streets and find his own breaking news. He rarely worked with a reporter towards the end of his career.

Jard worked at the ABC owned station for nearly 36 years - starting in 1974. Depending on the year, he worked overnights or daytime hours. Co-workers say he had sources in the Houston-area police, fire, constable and sheriff's departments. He was usually the first journalist on a breaking scene because of that.

"We worked together at KTRK, and he was the first photographer I worked with there," former KTRK anchor Van Hackett wrote on Jard's Legacy page. "He had great street smarts, an outstanding sense of humor and was always a delight to work with. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and worked with him."

Jard was a larger than life character who friends remember having a twinkle in his eye and a certain calming presence when the big stories broke.

"Marshall taught me how to load film in a CP-16 camera, and how to sniff out a news story," former KTRK photographer Dave Davis, who became WABC's general manager, wrote on Legacy. "He was a smart, funny, kind man. I will always be grateful for his influence on my career."

I hear Jard had battled some health issues leading up to his death.

Some of Jard's Houston television colleagues that attended his memorial service include: Tim Melton, Melanie Lawson, Chris Swanson, Phil Grant, Dave Strickland, Don Kobos, Lori Reingold, Don Nelson, Paul Mills, Gene Miller, John Mizwa, Mary Ellen Conway, Steve Osmon, Larry Mullins and Bill Balleza.

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