Bob Gregory died earlier this week of natural causes. He was 88. A longtime presence on Tulsa radio and television, Gregory started at KTUL Radio in 1960, after working at stations in Arkansas and Colorado. His pioneering career in broadcasting began in his late teens, in the early 1950s, immediately after service in the Army.
Born Robert Bruce Pitcock in Ft. Smith, Ark., Gregory moved from radio into television during the early years of that medium, working as an announcer, reporter, producer, anchor, and finally news director. He was with the KTUL-TV news department from the early 1960s through the middle 1980s, apart from a stint in 1967-70, when he was a reporter at CBS News in Washington.
As Vice President for News and Special Projects at KTUL, Gregory wrote, directed, and hosted the popular series of “Oil in Oklahoma” television programs, which aired throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, received much acclaim, and appeared in book form. He created many other award-winning documentary films and television shows focused on Oklahoma history, politics, and culture. Along the way, he trained or mentored a host of Tulsa-area TV journalists.
Longtime Tulsans might recall that Gregory’s older brother, Bill Pitcock, was for more than a decade the evening news anchor at KOTV/Channel 6. His two other brothers, Jim Pitcock and Jerry Pitcock, worked in TV and radio in Little Rock. Gregory was the second of seven children.
An avid reader and gifted writer -- and a born storyteller and tireless researcher -- Gregory was largely self-taught as an interviewer, filmmaker, journalist, and author. Throughout his career, he contributed articles, profiles, and book reviews to Oklahoma Monthly, Tulsa Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and other publications.
In 1992, having retired from broadcasting, Gregory revisited his lifelong passion for baseball in order to write a biography of Dizzy Dean, the legendary St. Louis Cardinals pitcher (and one of his childhood heroes). “Diz: The Story of Dizzy Dean and Baseball During the Great Depression” was published by Viking/Penguin; it was hailed by Sports Illustrated as “superb” and by The Sporting News as “a marvelous work.”
Gregory’s son, Scott Gregory, is the Production Director here at Public Radio Tulsa.