Tom Dunn, 77, Local News Anchor
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Tom Dunn, who died July 2 at his home in Stuart, Fla., had stints as a TV anchorman at WCBS, WOR, and WABC, where he was part of the original, wisecracking Eyewitness News team, paired as Roger Grimsby’s straight man before being replaced by Bill Beutel in 1971.
A native of Warwick, N.Y., Dunn got his start in broadcasting in 1947 as an announcer at WWPG radio in Palm Beach, Fla., where the pace was so relaxed that he worked in a swimsuit and took dips in the ocean between station breaks. He worked at other radio stations in Florida and Virginia, and served in the Army in Germany.
In 1959, he became a reporter for a television station in Tallahassee, moved on to a Tampa station, and then served briefly as press secretary to Rep. Ed Gurney of Florida.
According to his widow, Anna Dunn, presidential candidate Richard Nixon offered him a job as his press secretary, but Dunn turned Nixon down, worried that he might not be able to return to work as a newsman.
Dunn went to work at WCBS in 1963, moving to WABC in 1968. His longest job in New York was at WOR, where he worked from 1971 to 1987, and his assignments included “News at Noon.”
In 1988, Dunn moved to Florida, where he began an active retirement, piloting his own plane, sailing, and playing golf. A temporary job as a summer fill-in for WPTV in Palm Beach turned into a 10-year job.
In a 1984 interview with the Greenwich Time, Dunn disclosed his view of his profession: “When people ask me what broadcasting is like, I always say, ‘It beats work.'”