Raymond Shafer & Al McDowell
in the WFIL-TV Studios
circa 1968

(Click image to see a larger photo)

Raymond P. Shafer served as Lt. Governor from January 1963 to January of 1967 under Governor William Scranton, a GOP nominee for President in 1964. Shafer was at the convention as a Scranton delegate. Raymond Shafer was elected governor in 1966 and took office in January of 1967. He was a resident of New Castle, which is north of Pittsburgh. However, Al McDowell is also from the Pittsburgh area.

Born in 1928, Allison McDowell hailed from Clairton, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh and just north of the West Virginia border. McDowell was a 1952 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Al McDowell put himself through college as a Steelworker at the Clairton plant of U.S. Steel. He began broadcasting at WEDO (AM) in McKeesport and moved to KDKA Radio in 1955.

McDowell switched to KDKA-TV in 1963, where he was one of three anchors on KDKA's half-hour TV newscast, the first one in Pittsburgh.

In 1968, Al left the Iron City to come to Channel 6, WFIL-TV as their main news anchor. He left in 1970 and returned to Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV where he hosted "AM Pittsburgh," a top rated morning talk show. The program was one of the first in the nation.

He retired from television in 1988, but moved across the building to KDKA Radio as a telephone-talk show host. A resident of Upper St. Clair (southwest of Pittsburgh), he taught creative TV production at Penn State's western campus. Al McDowell passed away on November 21, 1994 at the age of 66.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Researched and compiled by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
© 2009, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is pioneers@broadcastpioneers.com