Late Valley anchor Kent Dana happy to work in city where he grew up, son says
PHOENIX — Kent Dana, a fixture for decades on many televisions in the Valley delivering news and telling stories, died Tuesday at the age of 80.
Dana began his time at the anchor desk in 1979 with 12 News and also worked for CBS 5, furthering a family tradition in the broadcasting industry that started with his father and continues with his son.
“He was so happy to be reporting and anchoring in his home,” Joe Dana, who is also a reporter and anchor for 12 News, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show on Wednesday. “He grew up in the ’40s in Phoenix when Phoenix was just starting to gain an identity.
“He loved his city and he saw it develop, explode in growth over the decades.”
Joe Dana said his father, who retired in 2010, told stories of walking through a dairy field where Park Central now sits, helping build homes in the area that is now the Arcadia neighborhood and constructing the Christown Spectrum mall as a teenager.
“He wants people to remember him with a smile and remember him warmly and know that he felt he was doing a service to the community to be able to tell the stories of our lives and the events that happened around us and to be a storyteller,” Joe Dana said.
“He truly believed in the power and importance of local journalism.”
Being so involved in the community, both on television and off, made Kent Dana a figure in the Valley.
“We would walk around town and people treated him like a celebrity and they put him on this pedestal,” Joe Dana said. “He just thought it was hilarious.
“He had the kind of personality where he had absolutely no ego and so he enjoyed meeting people every day and being in that very unique position.”
Joe Dana appreciates the warm words people have for his family, adding his father would want those who supported him to be recognized as well.
“I can hear him in my ear, he would say that there was an army of producers and photographers and writers that helped build the legacy that he represents,” Joe Dana said.
“We are so grateful for all the kind words being said.”