Mississippi Journalist Bert Case Dies After Extended Illness
Bert Case, whose booming voice and aggressive reporting defined television news in Mississippi from its infancy until last year, has died. Photo courtesy 16 WAPT
Bert Case, whose booming voice and aggressive reporting defined television news in Mississippi from its infancy until last year, has died.
Photo courtesy 16 WAPT
By The Associated Press Friday, January 29, 2016 12:12 p.m. CST
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Bert Case
, whose booming voice and aggressive reporting defined television news in Mississippi from its infancy until last year, has died.
WAPT-TV assistant news director Aaron Vogel said Case died Thursday afternoon at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, surrounded by family and friends.
had been hospitalized since Sept. 1 after a diagnosis of sepsis, a complication from an infection.
A Jackson native, Case
joined the campus radio at the University of Mississippi
in 1957 and took a job at Memphis radio station WMPS
Colleagues say that's where Case
distinctive intonation, including the "Berrrrrt Case" signoff that ended his
After serving as an Air Force information officer, he returned to Jackson in 1965, joining WJTV-TV, serving as news director and anchor.
In 1970, he
jumped to WAPT
, launching newscasts at the station as its news director.
Then in 1974, he moved to WLBT-TV, the longtime ratings leader in the Jackson news market, serving as a reporter, anchor and news director.
WLBT asked Case
to retire in 2014, setting off a round of honors, but he
was barely gone a couple of weeks before resurfacing as a reporter at WAPT
, still covering tornadoes and buttonholing politicians, sometimes outhustling competitors young enough to be his
Some legends about Case
aren't true, though, like the claim that he
tied himself to a tree to witness Hurricane Camille as it slammed into Mississippi's Gulf Coast in 1969.
"I did not strap myself to a tree, but I did think about it," Case told the Daily Mississippian in 2005.
"My cameraman, Bob Bullock, said, 'Bert, you'd drown.' He
was probably right.
But after Camille, I was glad to see that the tree I had wanted to strap myself to was still standing."
was deeply affected by Camille, with co-workers saying he
always pushed for heavy coverage of natural disasters.