UPDATE: Fresnans talk about the impact Mr. Howser had on Fresno and react to his death in this obituary by Fresno Bee reporter Bob Rodriguez.

ORIGINALPOST, JAN. 7: Huell Howser, the host of “California’s Gold” on PBS, has died at age 67. The Riverside Press-Enterprise published this brief story about his death today.

The Riverside County coroner confirmed his death Monday, Jan. 7. An employee who did not want to be identified said Howser had been in hospice care. No information about the cause of death was available.

Howser visited Fresno often for speaking engagements and to do stories, including a piece in 2011 about the best California Fairs that featured the Big Fresno Fair and an earlier piece on the Fruit Trail.

He was a great storyteller that captured the heart of California. He will be missed. KCET has this remembrance posted.

Bee TV writer Rick Bentley, who is in Los Angeles on assignment, shared this memory about meeting and talking to Mr. Howser over the years:

I started watching Huell Howser when I was living in Tennessee and he was on TV in Nashville. After I moved to Bakersfield, Howser came to town to do a story. I told him that I had been watching him for years. It was like he suddenly became my best friend. He would call everytime he was going to be in he area. No one has been more homespun as Howser and I am sure that’s why he became so popular.

See videos:

Fruit Trail:

Big Fresno Fair:


Kathy Mahan

Kathy Mahan is on trend, all the time. All. The. Time. Six-inch heels to the grocery are typical. (Her feet are calloused stumps, btw.)

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5 thoughts on “‘California’s Gold’ host Huell Howser has died – updated

  • January 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm


  • January 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    RIP: Huell Howser.

    I had the fond opportunity to meet Mr. Howser at the Warnor’s Theatre for the Performing Arts five-to-six years ago for a screening of “California’s Gold.” It was a magical Sunday afternoon — complete with lemonade, popcorn.

    CALIFORNIA’S GOLD: Episode #8008: The Warnors Theatre, a Fresno landmark that opened in 1928, houses a pipe organ that is the only one of its kind in the world still performing inside its original theatre. After years of neglect, the future of the theatre was in jeopardy until Frank Caglia bought it in 1973 and returned it to its former luster. Huell hears the Caglia’s family story, which intersects with the story of the Warnors Theatre at its opening and is as much a jewel as the theatre itself.

  • January 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    So sad. He had an infectious personality and was one of those people that could put a positive spin on anything (even something very mundane). He will be missed. RIP

  • January 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    We have watched California Gold for years and felt like Huell was a friend that we invited into our home. We found places that we never knew about in CA and many places he made so much more important. He is a “lost treasure” of CA. God bless his family and bring them peace.

  • January 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Huell will be greatly missed. I have enjoyed watching him for 20 years and learned so much about California through his many shows. After a two year effort, I was fortunate it enough to get him to feature some of Sanger on one of his Road Trip episodes. It was a delight to meet him and be interviewed for the show. When he was finished taping, he even treated a group of us to lunch at a Sanger restaurant We were able to visit and get to know him and his videographer, Cameron. He even discussed plans to return to do another show on Sanger’s logging history in which he wanted us to take him to historic lumber sites in the nearby forest. We will all miss … Huell’s Gold.


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