Ernest F. Cavallo, TV broadcast pioneer, WWII vet - The Buffalo News
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Ernest F. Cavallo, TV broadcast pioneer, WWII vet

Feb. 18, 1924 – June 10, 2014

Ernest F. Cavallo of Hamburg, who worked in early local television broadcasts, died June 10. He was 90.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Burgard High School. At age 17, he enlisted in the Army Air Forces during World War II. He was selected as a member of the elite 1st/7th Emergency Rescue Squadron and served in Europe, India and Africa.

After the war, Mr. Cavallo entered into the infant television industry, enrolling in a radio and TV training program in Boca Raton, Fla. Upon his return to Western New York, he helped construct and develop the facilities at WGR, which he eventually joined as a full-time employee.

Mr. Cavallo was selected by the NBC television network to participate in a show called “World Wide Broadcast,” hosted by Dave Garroway, who later became host of the “Today Show.” Mr. Cavallo participated in a local segment touting the newly constructed Skyway. According to his family, he tied himself to a ledge on a tall, downtown building to air a panoramic view of the bridge and the waterfront.

After 17 years at WGR, Mr. Cavallo went to work for Buffalo State College, where he was instrumental in developing and building an on-campus television studio for the school’s Communications Department. He re-entered local commercial television and worked as the lead track camera operator for Bills and Sabres games.

He was a longtime scratch golfer and had a hole in one in 2009.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Ginetta K. Zarbo; three sons, Steven, Richard and Robert; a daughter, Kathryn; and 11 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered June 13 in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Hamburg.

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