Gene Walsh was born in Saranac Lake in 1933. He passed away on Sept. 1, 2021 in Burbank, California. He attended Saranac Lake High School, where he won 12 varsity sports letters in football, basketball, baseball and track, was named to the 1951 All-State football team, and was elected to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
He attended Paul Smith’s College, where he captained the 1953-54 basketball team. He received his BA in English from St. Lawrence University in Canton, where he played two years of basketball and was on the Dean’s list his senior year.
Gene served with the 16th Artillery of the U.S. Army’s Fourth Armored Division in Germany, 1957-59.
Gene joined NBC-TV in New York in 1961 and worked in the program publicity units. In 1973, he was promoted to head the 50-member department. He was named an NBC Vice President in 1975. In 1977, he was transferred to NBC Burbank and headed the 45-member Press & Publicity Department. He retired in 1991.
Prior to joining NBC, Gene was a reporter and sports columnist for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and a play-by-play announcer for radio station WNBZ in Saranac Lake.
In 1979, at age 45, he made the extreme sacrifice of giving up beer for 6 weeks in order to train for the Boston Marathon. He finished the race at the top of his age bracket.
In retirement, Gene traveled extensively, visiting all seven continents. He singled out the Antarctica continent, which he toured in 2004, as the most amazing site on earth.
He made many trips back to the Adirondacks during retirement.
Gene was one of four children born to Imogene Russell Walsh, with brothers John Walsh and Robert Walsh and sister Mary Alice Walsh.
His grandfather was Dr. John Russell, who opened his practice in Saranac Lake back in 1892.
He married Judith Luce of Saranac Lake in 1957. They first met at Paul Smith’s College and later worked together at The Dew Drop Inn where she was a waitress. She passed in 1997. They had three children together.