Longtime KOMO News anchor Eric Slocum dies

Former KOMO 4 News anchor/reporter and KOMO Newsradio anchor Eric Slocum has passed away. He was 54.

Eric was a part of the KOMO News team for 16 years, starting in 1991. He anchored evening and weekend newscasts, and reported throughout the Northwest and around the world.

"His real name was Dan, but when he came to KOMO, our news director at the time didn't want two anchors named Dan," said KOMO-TV anchor Dan Lewis. "He thought it might confuse our viewers, so he asked Dan Slocum to make a change. He chose his middle name: Eric. I joked with him over the years that I took his real name away from him. What I got in return - what all of us at KOMO got - was a true friendship from a guy who was always a kind gentleman."

"He always had a smile. That's what I'll remember," said KOMO-TV reporter Keith Eldridge.

After leaving TV in 2002, he took on an anchor role for KOMO Newsradio and spent six years behind the mic there.

"Everyone in our newsroom who worked with and knew Eric is in shock," said KOMO Newsradio morning anchor Bill Yeend. "We have fond memories of his friendship and the work he did."

Eric's passion in both his professional and personal lives was writing, especially poetry. In 1996, he authored a volume of poems, "New Words", to help raise money for pediatric AIDS research at Children's Hospital and Medical Center.

Eric left KOMO Newsradio in 2008, telling co-workers that he wanted to work on his memoir. At the time of his death, Eric was still working on the book which he had titled "In Danger". In a 2008 interview with our news partner, the Seattle P-I, Eric talked about writing this book to deal with his obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and his acknowledgment that he was gay. On his own Facebook page, Eric wrote that he still struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide. The King County medical examiner has ruled that Eric took his own life.

"Since I heard the news this morning I've been remembering the good times, the fun-loving Dan (Eric) Slocum," said Dan Lewis. "And I've been hearing his boisterous laugh all day, which makes me believe he's at peace."

While at KOMO, Eric's assignments took him to Saudi Arabia and to London, where he retraced the footsteps of the Beatles. Through his stories, he shared his passion and joy.

Eric and his partner lived in South Seattle with their rescued pit bulls. He loved the animals that no one else would take.

"This is a sad day for everyone who ever worked with Eric or heard him, during his thousands of hours on radio and TV," said KOMO Newsradio reporter Corwin Haeck.

It is a sad day, indeed, for many of us.

[View the story "Remembering beloved KOMO News anchor Eric Slocum" on Storify]
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