A Houston news fixture for 50 years, ABC 13 anchor Dave Ward may not be coming into Houston homes every night anymore, but he’s hardly sitting still. The man who earned the Guinness World Records distinction of television news broadcaster with the longest on-air career is helping keep Houston safe—even as he recuperates from open-heart surgery.
Ward was the original Crime Stoppers reporter 35 years ago, and his “Crime of the Week” reports with an anonymous tip line led police to find crooks within days.
“The program hit the ground running and was an instant success,” he says. Crime Stoppers of Houston has solved 33,000 cases, apprehended 25,000 criminals and raised $200 million in after-forfeiture funds for the state. The nonprofit has also expanded into dozens of other cities and built the world’s first Crime Stoppers headquarters—a new 30,000-square-foot facility named after “the man who had the vision, who lent his voice and his time,” says Executive Director Rania Mankarious. “It was Dave who helped the organization make giant leaps forward.” As Houston tops the Charity Navigator list of most charitable cities for the second consecutive year, Ward hopes that Houstonians aren’t intimidated by the level of local financial commitment. “I want them to know this program deserves their support,” he says, “and every little bit helps.”