(May 20, 1904-Sept. 18, 1961). Gilbert Forbes was a native of St. Louis and a graduate of the University of Dubuque. He also was an organist graduate of Chicago’s American Conservatory.

Forbes was the original news anchor on the city’s first television station, WFBM-TV (now wrtv), beginning in May 1949. He provided local news on TV and for years continued his daily noon, early evening, and late evening newscasts on radio. He also was the creator and quiz master of Test the Press, one of the city’s top local TV attractions from 1949 to 1955.

Prior to being the station’s first TV news anchor, Forbes had worked for WFBM Radio. He began his career as a newspaper reporter in Chicago during the 1920s. He then switched to broadcast news at WIL in St. Louis and was news editor at WKBB in Dubuque, Iowa, three years before joining WFBM in 1937.

In 1944, Forbes became a war correspondent for his station during World War II, landing at Omaha Beach shortly after D-Day. He reported combat experiences of Hoosier servicemen with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Bomber Group of the 8th Air Force, in addition to those of the 735th Tank Battalion during the battle for Metz, France.

In 1957, Forbes turned primarily to radio after eight years of serving both radio and television. At the time of his death, he was the radio station’s news editor, chief anchor, and analyst.

Revised July 2021

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