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Veteran news anchor Harry Gasser dies

Harry Gasser

MANILA, Philippines — Harry Gasser, a veteran newscaster and broadcast icon, passed away Thursday morning at the Quezon City Medical Center after suffering a stroke.

In a radio interview, his son Henry said Gasser caught pneumonia last December, which aggravated his heart condition and triggered the stroke. He was 76.

"Siguro dahil hindi ma-expectorate yung plema n'ya, napuwersa yung puso niya," Henry said, describing his father's constant coughing.

Gasser's blood pressure fell after midnight. Henry said he was at his father's bedside at the time of his death, which was declared by doctors at 3:50 a.m.

The newsman, who led RPN-9's Newswatch, was still in tip-top shape playing golf and jogging a few weeks before the confinement.

Gasser's wife Flora, a known comedian, said in a separate interview that Gasser's last days were the first time he spent confined in a hospital his whole life.

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A Facebook page "Harry Gasser Appreciation Society" dedicated to the renowned television personality hailed him for being the "prime mediator for Martial Law babies" in a March 2011 post.

"Celebrating Harry Gasser is celebrating your childhood," it said.

Lovely Claire Dangalan, who used to watch Gasser's news casts, said that he is an example of how a news anchor ought to carry himself.

"[Gasser has] no theatrics, no-nonsense delivery of events. Why are his kind dwindling?" Dangalan wrote on the same Facebook page.

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