Bill L Fox
May 1, 1926 - June 14, 2020
Bill Fox passed away peacefully on June 14, 2020, at the age of 94, at home with his family in Point Loma. A prominent community leader in San Diego for more than fifty years, Bill was born in Fort Worth, Texas to Milton and Edna Fox, and raised in Alexandria, Louisiana. During World War II, he served as a U.S. Air Force tail-gunner in the Pacific. After the war, he attend Tulane University in New Orleans.He then moved to San Diego, where he met his wife Barbara (she fell in love with his dimples on their first date). They were married in 1952, and were devoted to each other for 68 years until Barbara passed in 2019. They had two children, Billy and Bonnie. Bill was known as a pioneering leader in San Diego television. He started his career in the late 1940's, as a director and producer at the CBS-affiliate KFMB, the second TV station in California. He was the co-creator of KFMB's "Zoorama," a beloved weekly Sunday show focused on the animals of the San Diego Zoo, which aired nationally by CBS. In 1968, Fox became General Manager of the independent KCST, 39TV. For many years, the San Diego community enjoyed Fox's weekly editorials, which dealt with local issues in the San Diego community. As General Manager, he saw the station through several ownership changes culminating as the NBC-affiliate KNSD.Bill loved sports, and in 1966 he invested as a minority owner of the San Diego Chargers and remained so until his passing. He and Barbara were huge Charger fans and regularly attended home games together. As Chargers owner Dean Spanos put it, "Bill and Barbara always came to games together, they were inseparable. When you'd see Bill, whether it had been a day, week or month he was always equally excited to see you. He just had a way that made you feel special."Bill had a life-long passion for and involvement with the San Diego Zoo, and served as a member of the Board of Directors for several decades. In 1995, he became president of the Zoological Society of San Diego, where he worked tirelessly to help bring the first giant pandas to the Zoo. This was the first time the Chinese government was willing to share the giant Pandas with a non-capital city.Bill was a true gentleman, ethical and fair-minded, unfailingly polite and well-spoken, with a kind and generous heart. He never stopped learning, and had a knack for drawing out the passion of the many people he mentored. A wonderful host, he and Barbara loved to throw parties and have dinner with friends. And while he had a rewarding career, it was always clear that family was the center of Bill's life. Familyin San Diego, Louisiana, and Texasmeant everything to Bill. He is survived by his children Billy Fox and Bonnie Fox, their spouses Serena and Peter, and his grandchildren Haley, Maya, Ryan, and Anika. We will never forget him, and he will truly be missed. Services were held at Cypress View Mausoleum. Donations in his honor can be made together Congregation Beth Israel.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Sep. 6, 2020.