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Sunday, July 29, 2007

My thoughts on Marvin Zindler's death

 photo mikemcguff_marvinzindler_zpswkfdecr7.jpg

It is with great regret that I must tell you Action 13's Marvin Zindler has passed away. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Sunday shortly after 6pm.

We have built a Marvin Zindler tribute page on where you can leave your condolences to his family. Not many know this, but back in in 1995 I interned in the Action 13 office with Marvin Zindler, Lori Reingold and Bob Dows. Lori and Bob helped Marvin be the White Knight in Blue Shades and deserve a lot of recognition for their work. My thoughts and prayers are with them, his TV family, as much as his real family.

Experiencing that office was nothing you'll ever see in television anywhere else or ever again. When we went out to do stories, people ran up to meet Marvin and ask for his autograph. For those of you who don't know, that type of thing usually does not happen in local TV. Especially not at that level. That's why Marvin carried around cards he could autograph for people. Here I was an 18 year old kid riding around with a legend and instead of ignoring me, he actually talked to me. He was legitimately curious about my life and asked all kinds of questions. I really was stunned. I felt like Wayne and Garth with a rock star...I truly wasn't worthy.

Marvin was always very nice to me.

He even let me do a promo with him for the rat and roach restaurant report. In fact, he pointed at me to yell, "Slime in the ice machine!" Alan Hemberger's comment after the video was, "Marvin's training them younger and younger." I'll never forget that. I originally wanted to be a photographer. Marvin told me, "You're a good looking kid with a strong voice, you should be in front of the camera." That led me down a path to eventually become a reporter.

For those of you not from Houston, Marvin was more than just a TV consumer advocate (the first local one in the nation). He was a Houston icon. I can remember being on the playground as a youngster and talking with the other kids about Marvin. How could you not talk about him? He was like a living superhero for children. I can't tell you how many friends of mine wanted a signed Marvin picture when I interned at KTRK.

As you will see in the tribute section, Marvin was a living superhero. He helped people AROUND THE WORLD. How many consumer reporters actually do that? He was a lot of flash clearly, but also a lot of substance. He really seemed to care about people.

This is a truly sad time for Houston and the KTRK family.

- VIDEO: Marvin Zindler sat down with Jack Yates HS' TV in 2005 and it is mesmerizing
- Could there be another KTRK 13 Eyewitness News Marvin Zindler on TV news?
- What KTRK 13 staffers learned from Eyewitness News Action 13's Marvin Zindler>
- What was the appeal of Marvin Zindler of KTRK 13 Eyewitness News?
- Former KTRK 13 staffers talk Marvin Zindler's legacy (PHOTOS)
- Remembering Houston's Marvin Zindler

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