William Winter, the first “Voice of America” radio commentator whose WWII broadcasts were heard throughout Asia, died Nov. 3 of natural causes in Woodland Hills. He was 92.
Winter’s daily broadcasts included explanations of democracy and reassurances that the U.S. wanted to protect Asians. He earned such a negative reputation in Japan that Radio Tokyo aired a play featuring three men who would be barred from heaven for their wickedness: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Winter.
Winter entered the work force as a lawyer in the late 1920s and practiced in North Carolina, where one of his clients was a radio network. He was asked to become a radio news analyst due to his knowledge of international law and events, and by 1935 he had given up his law career.
Following his WWII broadcasts, Winter covered the United Nations Charter Conference in 1945 and the Korean War in the early 1950s. He was named a TV news analyst for ABC in 1955.
In 1956, Winter became the only American to receive the Philippines’ designation as Commander of the Legion of Honor, for his WWII work. He later became a speaker on international affairs at conferences and campuses around the world.
Winter is survived by his wife, two daughters and a grandchild.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the William Winter Tribute at any of four local stations: KCET, KCRW, KPCC or KUSC.