A familiar figure to generations of Ohio TV news viewers has died.

Former Cleveland and Columbus news anchor Doug Adair died Monday in Pleasanton, Calif., of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Adair was 89.

Born in Xenia, Adair was a Northwestern University graduate and served in the Air Force in the Korean War.

He started his broadcast career in Dayton but moved in 1958 to WJW in Cleveland, where he was a reporter and an anchor.

Adair and Joel Daly became the first two-man anchor team to report news from the same desk.

He moved to WKYC in 1970 and became a staple in Cleveland broadcasting until his 1983 move to WCMH in Columbus.

The height of his popularity in Cleveland came during his marriage to fellow WKYC anchor Mona Scott. Al Roker was the best man at the couple's wedding in 1980.

The couple went to the Columbus market together and divorced in 1992 after 13 years. Adair went on to marry Jean, a former 27-year Franciscan nun who he met in the Columbus suburb of Dublin.

When Adair retired from the station in 1994, he was Ohio's longest-serving TV news anchor.

A member of the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Adair interviewed a number of notable newsmakers, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy and several U.S. presidents.

"[He] relished his role to report on the important societal and civic issues of the day," said his grandson James Adair, who lives in Akron. "Despite his many honors, [his] biggest thrill was meeting the many viewers that invited him into their homes on a nightly basis.

"He loved being a trusted friend and a part of their lives, which was evident when watching him personally connect with each fan that he met."

Adair received local and national accolades for his series “The Crisis in Christianity” and his “Clothes for Christmas” campaign for needy kids.

In his private life, Adair enjoyed golfing and owned racehorses over the years.

He is survived by his wife, Jean, three children and five grandchildren.

There will be calling hours from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. June 1 with a service to follow at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, where he was a founder, at 9549 Highland Drive in Brecksville.

 

The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this article. Craig Webb can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.