Mayborn School of Journalism professor Dave Tracy dies at 69
Dave Tracy, a lecturer at UNT whose long broadcast career included working for CBS and founding his own production company, died Wednesday.
Tracy, 69, is survived by his two children, Robert and Anne Tracy.
“He meant the world to me; all I ever wanted to do was make him proud,” Tracy’s son, Robert Tracy said in a statement on social media. “He was so kind and talented and the best journalist I’ll ever know. We find solace in knowing that Dad is whole again, reunited with my grandparents and his family members and friends, and that so many people loved him just as much as we did.”
Those who worked alongside Tracy at the Mayborn School of Journalism remember his consistent hard work, talent and passion for his craft. Tracy taught media and visual communications classes at UNT between 2013 and 2017.
“Dave Tracy, a broadcast/digital lecturer, loved UNT and the Mayborn School of Journalism, and we loved him,” Dorothy Bland, dean of the journalism school, said. “He was a humble, hardworking and joyful soul who loved great storytelling and chocolate milk. We are blessed to have worked with him.”
The Mayborn school plans to establish the Dave Tracy Memorial Scholarship to uphold Tracy’s legacy. Donations can be made here.
Tracy also led the Mayborn Multimedia High School Journalism Workshop at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference every summer since the workshop’s founding in 2014.
“I loved the man,” George Getschow, a UNT professor and co-founder of the Mayborn Conference, said. “Dave was a bundle of creative energy, someone who constantly challenged himself to get better. He leaves an indelible mark on the Mayborn, and on all of us who had the privilege of coming into his orbit.”
Born in May of 1947, Tracy served in the U.S. Navy before beginning his work in radio, after which he moved into the areas of writing and producing for broadcast news and television. Tracy worked at a CBS affiliate in San Diego, then moved to television reporting in Peoria, Illinois, and finally to Dallas, all while working for local CBS affiliates.
The family plans to hold a memorial service for Tracy in June. He will be cremated and his ashes scattered in San Diego.
Dorothy Bland: “Dave Tracy, a broadcast/digital lecturer, loved UNT and the Mayborn School of Journalism, and we loved him. He was an award-winning broadcast journalist with more than 30 years of experience who loved to teach. He taught broadcast journalism classes and led the Mayborn Multimedia High School Workshop for three years during the summer of 2014, 2015 and 2016. He also was the founder of NT Daily Radio and his students have produced award-winning shows. He was a humble, hardworking and joyful soul who loved great storytelling and chocolate milk. We are blessed to have worked with him. He was the producer for the 100th anniversary Pulitzer video and that’s now part of the Mayborn archive.”
George Getschow: “I loved the man. Dave was a bundle of creative energy, someone who constantly challenged himself to get better. He once audited my narrative class, and by the time it was over I felt he should have been teaching the class instead of me. He told me a few weeks ago during a visit that he missed teaching, and couldn’t wait to get back. Though he won’t be coming back, he leaves an indelible mark on the Mayborn, and on all of us who had the privilege of coming into his orbit.”
Robert Tracy: “Last night we lost the strongest, most considerate man — my father, Dave Tracy. Surrounded by my sister, my wife, me and his brother, Dad chose to end his fight with stage IV prostate cancer and polymiositis. He left this world in a room filled with love.
He meant the world to me; all I ever wanted to do was make him proud. He was so kind and talented and the best journalist I’ll ever know. He touched lives — through the stories he told and produced on Channel 4 and Channel 8, and in his career as a teacher, first at Carthage High School, then at the University of North Texas. He also wrote and published two books in his spare time (among so much more).
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers through this difficult time. We find solace in knowing that Dad is whole again, reunited with my grandparents and his family members and friends, and that so many people loved him just as much as we did.”
Featured Image: Dave Tracy. Radio Lab University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism. Junebug Clark
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