Veteran broadcaster Henry Champ died Sunday after a career that began in Manitoba and saw him become an international reporter. He was 75.
Champ died in Washington, D.C., where he was living toward the end of his career, his son told CBC, the last media organization that he worked for in a career than spanned roughly four decades.
Champ retired as CBC’s Washington correspondent in 2008, though he still filed online columns on American politics for CBC News until earlier this year.
He spent 15 years with CTV’s investigative affairs show W5 and served as the network’s Washington and London bureau chief, and also worked for American giant NBC in Europe and Washington before joining CBC Halifax in 1993.
But it was in Brandon where Champ started his career in 1960, as a print reporter with the Brandon Sun.
CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge worked with Champ and remembered him as a reporter other journalists could look up to.
“He was your classic old-time journalist,” Mansbridge said.
“He’d seen it all, he had this vast knowledge of modern day journalism still with the mix of sort of the old school.”
“For him the drive was to get to the story. To bring forward as much detail as you could to a public who was anxious to hear it,” Mansbridge said, adding Champ was always the first to share a good joke and eager to lend his ear – and advice – to young reporters.
“He was the real deal.”
Former CBC national reporter Paddy Gregg said Champ’s no-nonsense approach to news grew from his Manitoba roots.
“Henry Champ was the quintessential Western boy,” she said.
“He reflected that in his straightforward attitude.”
And Champ never forgot Manitoba.
Last year he was re-elected to his second three-year term as chancellor of Brandon University – his alma mater, which awarded him an honourary doctorate of laws in 2004.
Champ worked to help American students get comfortable with the university and took students under his wing to help them with campus life, the school said at the time of his re-election.
Mansbridge said Champ remained a proud Canadian, even when living in the United States, and that Champ flew the Maple Leaf at his farm outside Washington.
Champ leaves his wife and five children, the CBC said.
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