BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - WBRC FOX6 News pioneer, Pat Gray, has passed away.
A family member confirmed Gray died Monday.
She was among the first women in Birmingham to become a star in what was then a man’s world of local broadcasting.
In 1959, Pat Gray was a teenage beauty who won a contest to be on Tom York’s Morning Show, the most popular program on WBRC at the time. Years later she and Tom recalled how it all happened.
Pat Gray said, “Tom York had a contest for a Gal Friday and in 1959 I won as Gal Friday on Morning Show.”
Tom York said, “She was drop dead beautiful, 19 years old and we talked to her and next thing you know we hired her. And we started out doing exercises right away, we just put her in leotards.”
Those workout routines to the song “Chicken Fat” became a staple on the show and Pat Gray’s popularity shot through the roof.
She also presented the weather. Back then there were no TV meteorologists, just pretty women who were called “weather girls” but Pat Gray proved she was more than a pretty face.
In her two decades on the air she became one of WBRC’s biggest stars, from weather girl to talk show host to a key member of the award winning news team.
Gray said, “It was an adventure, live, you couldn’t roll back the tape. It was fun. I loved the people I worked with.”
Among those she worked with, Fannie Flagg, and Joe Langston.
In the late 70′s Pat Gray continued her career in Florida. After retiring she returned to Birmingham, the Magic City, where she is fondly remembered as a trailblazing pioneer for women in broadcasting.