Gene D’Accardo’s roots are in Modesto. He went to school here, began his radio career here and subsequently finished his illustrious broadcast career here. During his tenure in broadcast journalism, he reported on events that held worldwide interest such as the Patty Hearst kidnapping and the student unrest that took place on college campuses in California during the 1960s; he scaled the Bay Bridge to share with us how workers maintained the massive span.
Gene D’Accardo began reporting the news at KTRB, Modesto in 1952. He then moved to what was KMOD (now KFIV), Modesto before moving on to KNBR, San Francisco in 1966; he eventually became News Director at KNBR. Gene was at KNBR for 23 years and was described by his colleagues as a “hard-nosed” newsman who was constantly at his desk typing out, and then reporting, the news to the Bay Area and it’s surrounding communities. He left KNBR in 1990 returning once again to KTRB in Modesto where he finished his career in broadcast journalism.
Gene D’Accardro graduated from Modesto High School in the late 1930s. He then attended Modesto Junior College (MJC) studying communications. From 1940-1942 he was a columnist for the MJC publication The Collegian. It is at this period in Gene D’Accardo’s life that we are privileged to peek through the mists of time courtesy of MJC Vice President Emeritus Dr. Steve Collins.
Dr. Collins recently gave the Modesto Radio Museum an audio copy of an interview with Gene D’Accardo from September of 1991 during which time he reminisced about the early days; the days before he entered the world of broadcast news. He talks about how these days impacted his career and his approach to life. As you listen you will be able to easily recognize that even as a young man at the beginning of his journey, Gene D’Accardo had the qualities that would carry him to success.