John Rayburn Obituary 2024

Legendary Broadcaster John Rayburn Passes Away at 96

Legendary Broadcaster John Rayburn Passes Away at 96

The broadcasting world mourns the passing of John Rayburn, a revered news and sports broadcaster who graced the airwaves for over four decades. Rayburn passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, May 19, at the age of 96.

A Distinguished Broadcasting Career

Rayburn embarked on his broadcasting journey after serving in the Navy. He began his career in Cape Girardeau before honing his craft in Peoria, Kansas City, and Denver. As a news anchor and sportscaster, Rayburn’s exceptional talent and charisma made him a household name in Denver, where he spent an impressive 43 years.

Throughout his tenure in Denver, Rayburn anchored news broadcasts on all three network-affiliated stations. He also played an instrumental role in delivering pre-season Denver Broncos games, DU Hockey matches, and Denver Bears baseball broadcasts. His unwavering dedication to covering local sports earned him immense respect and admiration within the community.

Interviewing Luminaries

Rayburn’s broadcasting career was marked by his exceptional ability to connect with people from all walks of life. He had the privilege of interviewing countless celebrities, including five presidents, renowned sports figures, big band leaders, movie stars, and TV personalities. His insightful and engaging interviews captivated audiences and left a lasting impression.

National Recognition and Acclaim

Rayburn’s contributions to broadcasting were recognized on a national level. He appeared on numerous national broadcasts throughout his career and was inducted into the prestigious Broadcast Professionals Hall of Fame. His unwavering commitment to excellence and his ability to connect with viewers earned him the admiration and respect of his peers and the public alike.

Post-Retirement Pursuits

Upon retiring from the news, Rayburn continued to share his passion for storytelling on PBS’s Senior Showcase for nine years. He also hosted a talk show, an old-time radio show, and big band shows in the Denver area. His voice became familiar to listeners across the country as he narrated innumerable radio and TV recordings and recorded dozens of audiobooks for the National Library Service.

An Enduring Legacy

John Rayburn’s legacy extends far beyond his broadcasting career. He authored 12 books and recorded hundreds of audiobooks, leaving a lasting impact on the literary world. His memorable television sign-off, “May all your news be good news,” serves as a poignant reminder of his unwavering optimism and his commitment to bringing positive news to his audience.

John Rayburn is survived by his loving wife, Carol, and their four children: Lisa Cole, Jon Scott Rayburn, Debra Hiss, and Dan Rayburn. He will be fondly remembered by his seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. A family celebration of his life is planned at a later date.

Tributes and Condolences

The news of John Rayburn’s passing has evoked an outpouring of tributes and condolences from the broadcasting community and beyond. Colleagues, former students, and loyal viewers have taken to social media to express their admiration for his exceptional talent, his unwavering passion for broadcasting, and his kind and compassionate spirit.

John Rayburn’s legacy will continue to inspire future generations of broadcasters and storytellers. His dedication to excellence, his ability to connect with people, and his unwavering optimism will forever be remembered.

  1. CBS News Colorado

  2. The Denver Post

  3. Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and Museum