N. Carolina Reporter And Spokesperson Dick Ellis Dies At 78

RALEIGH. N.C. (AP) — Dick Ellis, a former North Carolina television news reporter and spokesperson for political campaigns and the state courts system, has died at age 78.

Ellis died on Saturday from cancer at the VA Medical Center in Durham, his daughter, Annette Rogers, said Monday.

A Wilson native, Richard Earl Ellis worked as a radio disc jockey, weatherman and kiddie show host for WITN-TV early in his career before being drafted into the Army, according to information from his family. He served in Vietnam, working for the American Forces Vietnam Network until 1968.

Returning stateside, Ellis worked at WRAL-TV for five years as a reporter. He left to work in North Carolina Republican Gov. Jim Holshouser's administration, serving as an agency press secretary and later director of North Carolina’s U.S. bicentennial celebration.

Ellis worked a few years later as press secretary for I. Beverly Lake Jr.’s unsuccessful run for governor. Decades later, he worked again for Lake, who had become state Supreme Court chief justice, as the spokesperson for the North Carolina courts. Ellis served as the state Court of Appeals marshal before retiring in 2020.

Other survivors include another daughter, Cindy Ellis Waters, and two grandchildren. A memorial event will be announced later.