Longtime Southern California television host Huell Howser, who used his folksy interviewing style to introduce viewers to little-known Golden State locales and the state's unique residents, died today at age 67.
Howser died in Palm Springs at 2:35 a.m. of natural causes, according to the Riverside County Coroner's Office.
Howser was best known for hosting the public-broadcasting series "California's Gold," which ran for 19 years.
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He started his television career at WSM in Nashville after graduating from the University of Tennessee, working for a United States senator and serving in the Marine Corps. He hosted a magazine-style series at WCBS in New York City before moving to Los Angeles in 1981 to work as a reporter for CBS2, according to his website.
He joined public television station KCET in 1987 to produce "Videolog," short programs featuring people's unique stories. The series later expanded to people and places throughout California.
Howser quietly retired from "California Gold" late last year, amid rumors about his failing health. His assistant, Ryan Morris, told the Los Angeles Times in November that Howser was retiring from filming new shows, saying he "is just trying to get away from television and enjoy some free time."