Gary LaPierre, who for decades anchored morning newscasts on top-rated Boston radio station WBZ (1030), has died, the station announced Monday.
With his even, reassuring voice, LaPierre informed listeners throughout New England about everything from the arrival of the Beatles at Hanscom Field in 1964 to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in 2001.
The latter, which was unfolding while he spoke on air, was the far greater challenge.
“I had to pull from every resource,” he recalled in a 2006 Globe interview. “I had to come up with the calm and the vocabulary and expertise to try to come up with the words to tell people what was going on.”
LaPierre was 76, according to a story posted on the station’s website.
LaPierre “passed away peacefully on Monday at home on the North Shore,” WBZ said. He had recently been diagnosed with leukemia, according to the station.
For almost 44 years, Gary LaPierre's legendary voice greeted New Englanders to start their day.— WBZ NewsRadio (@wbznewsradio) February 4, 2019
Gary passed away peacefully earlier today due to complications from leukemia. He died at his home on the North Shore, surrounded by his loving family. He was 76. pic.twitter.com/LWM1pSfHdd
“If you were looking to work hard and also have lots of fun, Gary was the guy you need to be with,” said Bill Flaherty, the station’s director of operations.
He was one of the vaunted voices of no-school announcements, back when they were a staple of snowy, wintry mornings.
“What people will remember most is the voice. They’ll recognize the voice,” Peter Casey, a former WBZ news director, said of his longtime friend and colleague.
Radio listeners grew up on the voice of LaPierre, who was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
“Most people read about history,” LaPierre told the Globe in 2006, when he announced he would retire that December. “For 40-plus years I’ve had a chance to participate in history.”
Former colleague Carl Stevens paid tribute to the man he said was “my mentor.”
A poem for my friend and my mentor, Gary LaPierre, who has passed away. pic.twitter.com/miRHuEKicN— Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) February 4, 2019
LaPierre was a member of the WBZ Hall of Fame and the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.Sean Smyth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @smythsays.