John Babcock, an award-winning television journalist and an executive at KABC-TV, died Sunday at Century City Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 63.

His friend and colleague Lou Leslie described Babcock as a writer, a “friend of journalism,” and a historian of California and Los Angeles news.

Babcock, who most recently was director of special projects at KABC-TV, won an Emmy in 1979 for a series about the influence of Times Mirror Co., which publishes the Los Angeles Times. He also won a Peabody Award for a 1977 series about accountability at the LAPD. He worked at KABC-TV from 1973-93 as a member of the news team.

Babcock was a four-time winner of Los Angeles Golden Mikes for documentaries, commentary and newswriting. He also served as California press director for Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968 and 1972.

Babcock was a frequent contributor on California history to the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald-Examiner’s op-ed page, said Leslie, a newswriter for KABC-TV.

Babcock was most proud of his work with the Boys Republic in Chino, a home for troubled boys, Leslie said. Babcock graduated from there as a youth and went on to become the only Boys Republic alumnus to preside over the board of directors.

“The experience changed his life,” Leslie said. “The guidance he received there helped turn his life around.”

He is survived by his wife, Sandra Sternig-Babcock; and a daughter.

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