BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Legendary 7 Eyewitness News broadcaster Rick Azar has died at the age of 91.
Before he became a household name in Western New York sports, Azar's voice may already have been familiar to WKBW viewers. When the TV screen lit up with a WKBW signal for the very first time back in November 1958, it was Azar's voice who signed WKBW on the air.
Azar was born as Ricardo Carballada. He attended school at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Canisius College. Azar began his broadcasting career at WHLD radio in Niagara Falls. In the early 1950s, Azar found a love for sports and eventually settled into the seat beside Irv Weinstein. Both anchors were later joined by Tom Jolls. Together, they began a historic 30-year run at 7 Eyewitness News.
Azar became the station's first sports director. He was there for the very first Sabres game at The Aud. He was in the booth the day now-infamous former Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson broke the 2,000-yard mark against the New York Jets in 1973.
But all good things must come to an end. On June 30, 1989, Azar gave his final WKBW sportscast. He was 60 years old and said it was just time.
Azar was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998.