Haney Howell’s name is well-known in the world of broadcast news, but his real legacy lies in the success of those he mentored.
“If you look at Haney, it’s almost like looking at an orange tree. You judge an orange tree by its fruit, you don’t judge it on what the branches look like, what the roots look like, what the base looks like,” said Chris Miller, Vice President of OTS Media Group and Winthrop alumnus. Howell was Miller’s adviser in college.
“If you judge Haney Howell by the fruits he gave this community ... the real legacy is his graduates that are in this community,” Miller said.
Family members, friends, former students and colleagues gathered Sunday at Winthrop University to remember the former professor and broadcast legend.
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Howell, who worked as a CBS War correspondent during the Vietnam War and taught at Winthrop, died Feb. 11 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 75.
Members of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard from Shaw Air Force Base presented Howell’s family with an American flag.
Howell’s family and friends honored him through videos of his life and stories of the impacts he had on many.
“One of the things Haney would do every semester was he would teach from experience,” said Mark Nortz, mass communication professor at Winthrop. “I think that was so valuable. He made sure students understood that not every story had that wow factor, but that every story, no matter how boring or dry, deserved to be told.”
Howell brought to Winthrop decades of experience in the field.
He started in radio as a DJ while still in high school before the draft led to four years in the U.S. Air Force as an air traffic controller, according to information provided in the memorial’s program. Howell traveled from Germany to India and through Iran and Afghanistan in a VW van during his time in an international mission program.
Howell covered news in India, Cambodia and Vietnam with CBS in the late 1970s. He is the author of “Road Runners: Combat Journalists in Cambodia.”
Howell also worked for ABC Radio news in New York and as a television field reporter in Denver. He joined Winthrop in 1988 and retired in 2012.
In 2016, Howell was inducted into the OTS Media Group Sports Wall of Fame. In 2011, he received the Honorary Life Membership Award from the South Carolina Broadcast Association.
“Haney loved journalism, the news business and teaching. He passed on that love ... to his students,” said Marilyn Sarow, mass communication professor at Winthrop. “But he never sugar-coated the profession. Haney knew the highs of chasing a story, interviewing important people, and scoundrels ... he also let students know about the late hours, the often lousy pay and the lack of job security.”
Sarow said Haney helped students find jobs in the profession.
“Haney was a proud Southerner, a child of the 60s - restless, curious, but discreet, driven to rid the world of its social ills and problems,” Sarow said. “He was fiercely loyal to his family and his many, many friends.”
Howell married Carol Conger Howell in 1982. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.