Ron Steele Photo

Silver Circle Honoree Ron Steele

For more than three decades, in Iowa and around the world, Ron has reported history in the making. He was in Saudi Arabia, when the Persian Gulf War broke out and he was at the White House when the American hostages came home from Iran.

Major stories have taken him from the Parkersburg EF5 tornado and record floods of 2008 to the National Political Conventions, The Republic Of China and Desert Storm. Ron anchored KWWL’s summer Olympic coverage in Atlanta.

A crowd of 60,000 jammed downtown Cedar Rapids to watch Ron carry the Olympic Torch and ignite the cauldron during the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay.

One of his favorite assignments took him on board Air Force One to interview President George Bush. Ron interviewed Barack Obama during a 2008 campaign stop in Cedar Rapids. Some of his other favorite interview subjects include the likes of Nobel Peace Prize winners Desmond Tutu and Al Gore, Lance Armstrong and Olympic Gold Medalist Dan Gable, a native of Waterloo.

In 2000, the IBNA (Iowa Broadcast News Association) honored Ron with its highest honor, the Jack Shelley Award. He has also won numerous other IBNA News and Sports awards, including Spot News Story of the Year and Sports Story of the Year. The Boys Scouts of America honored Ron with its prestigious Lowell Thomas ‘Good Youth News Award.’

While Ron enjoys exploring world and local events, some of his memorable experiences have involved Iowa children, like Jeremy, a nine-year-old boy dying of cancer. He called Ron from his hospital bed to ask if KWWL could do a story about Make-A-Wish, which had granted Jeremy’s dying wish for a trip to Florida. Because of that story, Ron became a charter board member for the former Make-A-Wish of Northeast Iowa.

Thanks to the warm response and generosity of KWWL viewers, Ron’s award-winning Iowa’s Child adoption program is the longest running news series in Iowa. Through Iowa’s Child, nearly 200 of Iowa’s hard-to-place, “special needs” children have found loving families and permanent homes. In 2008, The Coalition for Family and Children’s Services in Iowa honored Ron with its ‘Friend of Children’ Award, also awarded to Iowa Governor Chet Culver.

From Civitan Club ‘Citizen of the Year’ to The University of Iowa Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal, hundreds of organizations have recognized Ron for news reporting and community involvement over the years.

Ron joined KWWL in 1974 as Sports Director, and was the original play-by-play voice of the Iowa Television Network. He also did play-by-play telecasts for NBC Sports and ESPN, including the Women’s College Basketball Finals and NCAA II Wrestling Finals. He still enjoys sports reporting, and has brought KWWL viewers “Live” reports from such events as the Super Bowl, NCAA Basketball Tournament and The Heisman Trophy presentation at New York City’s Downtown Athletic Club.

Ron teaches Electronic Media writing at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, and has volunteered for numerous community organizations over the years, including the Cedar Valley Sports and Entertainment Commission. He is a Board Member of the University of Iowa Alumni Association, and helped raise the money for the Grout Museum’s new 2008 Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum. Ron still enjoys appearances at more than one hundred engagements a year on what he calls ‘the emcee, speaking and banquet circuit’ all across Iowa.

Ron is an avid runner, completing ten marathons. Ron and his daughter, Katie, ran the Chicago marathon together in 2008.

Ron was born in Washington, Iowa, in 1950, and grew up in Wapello, Iowa. He is a 1973 graduate of the University of Iowa. Ron and his wife, Candy, have three children.

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