Stan Duke, early black L.A. sportscaster, dies


SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-- Stan Duke, who became one of the first black sportscasters in Southern California nearly 40 years ago and later served prison time for shooting to death his wife's lover, has died. He was 70.

Duke died at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack at his Santa Barbara home, his second wife of 25 years, Ellen Duke, said Friday.

"He was a kind person" who in his spare time counseled schoolchildren about avoiding drugs, said his longtime friend, Carl Boldt.

Clarence Stanton Duke was born on May 9, 1936, in Portland, Ore. A college athlete, he worked in radio and TV at smaller stations in Coalinga and Portland and was a cameraman for the NBC television station in Los Angeles.

In 1968, he became a sportscaster for the CBS TV station in Los Angeles.

He covered the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, where he interviewed sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos after they raised clenched-fist black power salutes on the winners' podium.

In 1971, he was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting to death radio commentator and minority rights activist Averill Berman, who was sleeping with Duke's estranged wife.

He spent about three years in prison and then became a sports information officer for the University of California, Santa Barbara.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by sisters Carlene Jackson and Evelyn Cook; sons David, Brent and Brandon; daughters Beverly Duke, Tamala Newsome and Paige Williams-Wake, and several grandchildren.