NEW YORK - Former Fox 5 anchor Bill McCreary was a longtime journalist New Yorkers trusted.
"He built Fox 5 The 10 O'Clock News," Good Day New York anchor Rosanna Scotto said. "He was respected. People believed what he had to say and he worked hard to give you the information that you needed."
McCreary began his career in 1960 at a radio station in Queens.
A decade later, he joined Channel 5 as the managing editor and anchor of Black News. He was promoted to co-anchor of The 10 O'Clock News one year later. Former Fox 5 anchor John Roland said he co-anchored the newscast with McCreary for about 10 years.
"The thing that really stands out in my mind about Bill, he never expected to be given anything. He always works hard for it," Roland said. "He was a man of integrity, a man of intelligence and very, very hard working."
McCreary was a former vice president at Fox 5 but he is perhaps best known as the anchor and executive producer of The McCreary Report. He interviewed newsmakers from around the world including President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, and Rosa Parks, the mother of the civil rights movement who in 1955 refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man.
"He was a trailblazer," former Fox 5 reporter and anchor Lynne White said. "I don't think there were many Black faces in local news in New York City before he got there."
White said McCreary opened the door for many journalists.
"I remember him vividly pulling me into his office when I first got there and he said, 'I'm here to help — my credo is each one, reach one, teach one,' and that's who he was," White said. "He was always teaching and helping others."
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In his distinguished career, McCreary won several awards including an NAACP Black Heritage Award and two Emmys.
Former New York Rep. Charles Rangel called McCreary a pioneer.
"He was so charming and had so much charisma, we just didn't look at him as a reporter that was out to ask awkward and embarrassing questions," Rangel said. "But more often than not, you found yourself telling him everything he wanted to know."
Bill McCreary died in April after a long illness. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, O'Kellon.