Longtime television newsman Ron Stone died Tuesday at his home.
Stone, who was diagnosed last year with prostate cancer, was 72.

His signoff, as delivered across four decades on KHOU (Channel 11) and KPRC (Channel 2), was "Good night, neighbors," and the signature spoke volumes about the man.

He was a native Oklahoman who was honored by the Sons of the Republic of Texas and a TV guy who took pride in the depth and clarity of good writing, and his long tenure in Houston helped established the style that viewers expect of their local anchors.

Stone was born April 6, 1936, in Hanna, Okla., graduated from East Central State Teachers College in Ada, Okla., and worked in radio and television in several small Oklahoma markets. He was working at KVOO in Tulsa in 1961 when he caught the eye of Rather, who was then Channel 11's lead anchor.

After Rather departed for CBS, Stone moved into the lead anchor chair and dominated the ratings alongside sports anchor Johnny Temple and weathercaster Sid Lasher. He departed in late 1967 for New York as a writer for NBC but returned 10 months later to Channel 11. In 1972, he moved to Channel 2, where he worked alongside longtime colleague Doug Johnson, the station's weathercaster.

Along with anchor duties at Channel 2, where he remained until 1992, he hosted the series The Eyes of Texas and established himself as a master of words as well as video.

During his final broadcast before retiring from Channel 2, he said, "I always figured that doing local television was a trust. So I never tried to lie to you, never tried to lead you down a false path. I spent 30 years working at two really fine television stations in one really fine town. I've been a very lucky man."

After retiring, he founded Stonefilms of Texas, which produced corporate videos in tandem with the public relations community. He wrote three books about Texas history and a fourth book with his son, Ron Stone Jr.

Stone also established the Ron Stone Foundation for Texas History, based in Brenham, which supports the upkeep of a park in Washington-on-the-Brazos, where the Texas declaration of independence was signed, and provides stipends for historians.

Stone remained active as a speaker before he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last September. After doctors determined this year that the disease had spread to his brain, he spent his final days focused on family.

Survivors include his wife, Pat Stone; two daughters, Robin Brown and Julie Payne, both of Houston; two sons, Ron Stone Jr. and Billy Stone, both of Houston; a sister, Joyce Murdock of Oklahoma City; and nine grandchildren.