Donn Johnson, a Longtime St. Louis Broadcast Journalist, Died at 76

Last Updated on November 4, 2023, 4:56 am

FOX 2 family mourns the loss of its member, Donn Johnson, who died after losing a battle with cancer.

Donn Johnson Dead
Donn Johnson (Image via

Donn Johnson, a longtime St. Louis broadcast journalist, died after losing battle with cancer on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. He has worked with FOX2 for over three decades. He was 76 years old.

Who was Donn Johnson?

Johnson grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He worked with various news channels as a broadcast journalist. He also did color commentary for a radio station. He worked with Fox 2 as a broadcast journalist, both behind a desk and in the field, for over three decades, in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. He was a graduate of Beaumont High School and Webster University.

He began his broadcast journey with radio. He was the first African-American reporter on WIL-AM in 1973. He became part of the FOX 2 family in 1978 and is remembered for his detailed city hall coverage. He was an advocate for diversity in the media industry. His daughter, Laura Johnson, spoke with a local news channel and said,

“Dad lived an amazing life, and he loved St. Louis and St. Louis broadcasting. He had such a profound impact on broadcasting here, particularly cared about the Black broadcasters and establishing a legacy.”

His close friend, Bonita Cornute, said he was ‘one you could always count on’ if you had any problem in the newsroom. “In addition to constructive criticism, there was always this sense of advocacy,” she said.

Donn Johnson enjoyed talking about politics and baseball. He had the opportunity to work with well-known sportscaster Bob Costas on the Spirits of St. Louis radio broadcast in the 1970s. He spoke with the media about the late journalist and said they did all the home games together and became ‘very good friends.’ “He was more than just a respected professional,” Costas said, “He was a good person, which is what matters most, and a good friend to so many of us.”

What happened to Donn Johnson?

Donn Johnson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He lost his battle with cancer and passed away on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, surrounded by family members and loved ones. He was 76 years old.

“We tried to care for him in his final months,” said his daughter Laura. She told the media that her parents had been married for 54 years and recently did a trip to Alaska. She also shared that despite his condition, he was able to walk her down the aisle last month. “I am so grateful for that last month.”

His death has left a void in the lives of those who had the privilege of knowing him and loved him.

Obituary and Funeral

His family will release an obituary and provide details of a memorial service when they are ready.

We offer our sincerest thoughts and prayers to the family and friends. May he rest in peace.


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