TUCSON (KVOA) – Much of Southern Arizona knows John Overall as a great anchor with a huge heart for the Tucson community.
However, our Digging Deeper team learned there is a lot more behind News 4 Tucson’s main man.
News 4 Tucson wanted to bring you the backstory of John Overall – the outside of his career.
So News 4 Tucson’s Lupita Murillo went to the source – she called his mom.
John started his television career in the sports chair. His mom said he started out early loving sports. He was a runner.
She said he had to run fast to make it home by dinner time. That’s when dad wanted all five of his kids home to eat.
Mom said John was a good kid, mostly.
“He did not keep a clean room,” Dorothy Pfiefer, John’s mother said.
So mom laid down the law.
“I told him if he didn’t clean it up, I would throw his stuff in the trash,” she said.
So he cleaned his room. His mom says she was so proud. But then she learned his secret to cleaning his room so quicklt.
“I opened the closet and everything came falling out,” she said.
Growing up, younger sister, Jo Dee Tate collected stories about her big brother.
“He was fun and very popular,” she said.
His sister said his looks and charm made the girls line up at his track meets.
“Girls from the other schools would come up to me and give me their phone numbers so I could give them to that cute boy running,” she said.
John wasn’t just popular with the girls. This surfer boy had many friends.
“He’s the man he is and the dad he is,” Tate said. “(Dad) was so proud of him … He would be so excited that John could have this kind of career.
John’s news career has spanned over 30 years, with a start in radio and then a move to television. He began in Roswell, NM as a sports anchor. He then switched from sports to news, anchoring in Anchorage, then making stops in Little Rock, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Medford, Ore. and then Tucson, with two stops at KVOA, for a total of 15 years here in the Old Pueblo.
His sister says journalism has always been his love and mentoring those coming up in the business. However, she is looking forward to seeing him take the next step.
“We’re so happy for you and we hope you have a long, long retirement,” she said. “Don’t let social security keep all that money.”
His mom says she has always been proud of John.
“Seeing him on TV for the first time, when the music plays and stuff, you get chills,” she said.
And now our surfer boy, John Overall is signing off.