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Stephen S. Bell

December 9, 1935 - January 25, 2019

STEVE BELL
Broadcast Journalist and Educator dies at 83.

Stephen S. Bell, 83, passed away at his home in Muncie, Indiana on Friday, January 25, 2019. Born to Howard Arthur Bell and Florence Scott Bell in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on December 9, 1935, Bell was an ABC News correspondent and the first Edmund F. and Virginia …READ MORE

STEVE BELL
Broadcast Journalist and Educator dies at 83.

Stephen S. Bell, 83, passed away at his home in Muncie, Indiana on Friday, January 25, 2019. Born to Howard Arthur Bell and Florence Scott Bell in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on December 9, 1935, Bell was an ABC News correspondent and the first Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Endowed Chair in Telecommunications at Ball State University.

In his 30 plus years at ABC, Bell covered social upheavals that shaped the nation including the Newark and East Harlem riots, major anti-war protests in Washington D.C., the assassination and funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he was on-the-scene at the shooting of Senator Robert Kennedy (1968). As a war correspondent in Vietnam and Indochina (1970-1971), Bell and his camera crew were captured by Viet Cong and held at gunpoint before being released. Bell also served as ABC News bureau chief in Hong Kong before returning to the U.S. to cover Watergate. Bell was also the first news anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” (1975-1986).

Following his career at ABC, Bell anchored at KYW-TV in Philadelphia before moving to
Muncie in 1992 to join Ball State University. During his 15 years at Ball State, Bell taught
the foundational course in Telecommunications ethics, supervised student televised newscasts
and deeply valued mentoring future news professionals. He also served as Department of
Telecommunications chair for two years.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and U.S. history from Central College in Pella, Iowa and obtained his Master of Science in Broadcast Journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Bell is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Joyce Dillavou Bell; their two daughters, Allison
K. Bell (husband Cesar Genders) and Hilary A. Borlack (husband Scott Borlack); along with six
grandchildren: Geoffrey Politinsky, Samantha Politinsky, Sean Borlack, Daniel Genders, Troi
Genders and Riley Bates. He was preceded in death by his sisters Mary Bell Rexroth and Carol
Bell Gowan. Services will be held in Muncie on Saturday, February 23, 2019 with a public
reception to follow at Ball State’s Emens Auditorium at 1 pm. Memorial contributions may be
made to the Steve Bell Memorial Fund (7413) to support students and scholarship at Ball State
University; details are forthcoming.

Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com

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