The Tennessee native moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and reported for KCBS-TV. After briefly serving as a weekend host for "Entertainment Tonight" in the 1980s, he joined KCET as the host of "California's Gold." Howser reveled in teaching his television audiences about new people and new places.
Howser gave us hundreds of golden moments as he traveled around the state, introducing us to the small towns, landmarks, and "off the beaten track" locations that may not have been well known to the general public.
He retired just last November from his role at KCET. The broadcaster donated all episodes of his series to Chapman University, as well as all his research material and memorabilia, saying, "I'm proud to have a permanent home for my life's work. I hope it will be used by students and the public to learn about, and understand, California even better."
The president of public television station KCET said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened to hear of Huell's passing. This is a tremendous personal and professional loss to his friends and colleagues, as well as his legions of fans"
A spokesman said there would be no public or private services.