(July 18, 1925-Sept. 11, 2017). Howard Clay Caldwell Jr. grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from Howe High School in 1944. Upon graduation, he entered the Navy and served as a radio operator. When he was released from service, he attended Butler University and received his undergraduate degree in journalism, as well as a master’s degree in political science. He then began his journalism career by writing for The Exponent, a weekly newspaper in Hagerstown, Indiana.

When the Korean War broke out, he was called back into service. When he again entered civilian life, he began his broadcast career. He started at WTHI Radio/TV in Terre Haute in 1952 as a reporter.

Seven years later he began working at WFBM, now WRTV (Channel 6), as an anchor. He remained a fixture on Indianapolis television screens for the next 35 years.

In 1965, Caldwell secured the first interview granted to an American journalist with Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The interview aired on national television on NBC’s Today. He also did a documentary on hunger in India.

As big as those scoops were, it was Caldwell’s steady, avuncular presence on the air that made him one of the landmarks in the Indianapolis news market. His calm, unflappable style made for easy watching, even when the news was grim. For that reason, in 1978 he was the first broadcaster honored by the Indianapolis Press Club as “Newsman of the Year.”

He also found time to author two books, Tony Hinkle: Coach For All Seasons (1991) and The Golden Age Of Indianapolis Theaters (2010).

He was elected to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 1991.

Revised March 2021

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