Bert Shipp, who worked at WFAA/Channel 8 for nearly 40 years before retiring in 1999, died Monday night, the station reported. He was 85.
Arrangements for a memorial event were not complete Wednesday.
Mr. Shipp, father of News 8 investigative reporter Brett Shipp, had previously worked for what was then WBAP/Channel 5 in Fort Worth, as well as reporting for the Dallas Times Herald and the Abilene Reporter-News.
He detailed his experiences in a 2011 book, Details at Ten: Behind the Headlines of Texas Television History. One of those headlines was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Mr. Shipp was working as the station’s chief cameraman and assistant news director, and was at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas when a source told him that the president was not going to survive.
The younger Shipp interviewed his father about those events, in a report that includes footage of the elder Shipp during that day in 1963. Mr. Shipp also scored a one-on-one interview with the Beatles when they came to Dallas in 1964, as Brett Shipp recounted in a Star-Telegram report in 2003:
“The rest of the media were in another room waiting for a press conference. My dad sneaked into the dressing room by bribing the police officer watching the door. He said he would get him an autograph, and the police officer let my dad and his photographer in.”
WFAA has excerpts from Shipp’s book on its website, including tales of how he once went on a 31-day streak of scoring free lunches during his news reporting, what it was like being a cop reporter for the Times Herald, and the Beatles and JFK stories in his own words.