Bob Welch, a former reporter and photojournalist who captured the only known audio recording of the official announcement of President John F. Kennedy's death, died Monday morning at the age of 80, his wife confirms.
Welch, who grew up in North Dallas, served as a combat photojournalist and reporter during the Vietnam War and later went on to work for Channel 5 and WBAP radio.
On Nov. 22, 1963, Welch was covering Kennedy's visit to Dallas when shots rang out in Dealey Plaza. He delivered one of the first reports that the president had been shot.
The following is a transcript of Welch's report from that day:
"As I say, it has not been fully confirmed, but police radios are carrying that the president has been hit. The president's party – his wife, the governor, senators, and all other political officials – were en route, as fast as they could get there, to Parkland Hospital under heavy police guard, going extremely fast past the Trade Mart, past the large throngs of people waiting to catch a glimpse of the president. It's thought that the incident occurred near the underpass section entering the Stemmons Expressway, just on the outskirts of Downtown Dallas. This unit is presently en route to Parkland Hospital. Confirmation will come shortly."
The audio reels from that day were donated to The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. The reels had been forgotten until an NBC 5 news crew discovered them at the station's original Fort Worth studios more than three decades later.
Welch is survived by his wife and two daughters.