Welcome to the Bob Jones Report
Bob Jones began his career as a police reporter for the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. After a three-year tour with the Air Force in Germany, he went to work for Noticias y Viajes, a newspaper in Madrid, Spain. He stayed in Europe for several years, eventually moving to The Overseas Weekly, first in its Frankfurt headquarters and then as its bureau chief in Paris.
His work drew the attention of the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, which hired him as a general assignment reporter. But Jones said “I didn’t like Louisville’s weather or its restaurant scene” and he began looking for a new work venue.
“There was a Louisville bar called the Blue Moon and it had a wall painting of Waikiki. I barely knew where Hawaii was but I looked it up and saw that it then had two daily newspapers,” he recalled in a MidWeek story about coming to Honolulu. He was hired by the Honolulu Advertiser in January of 1963, first as a general reporter and then became its military editor.
That led to his long career reporting the Vietnam War. He accompanied the Kaneohe 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines when they went into Phu Bai, Vietnam, in 1964. Then a year later, he would be permanently embedded with the 25th Infantry Division, which had units based in Cu Chi and Pleiku. On one patrol with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, Jones would be severely wounded by a mortar strike he always maintained was friendly fire, not an enemy round. He recovered at 3rd Field Hospital and at his Saigon hotel room and returned to field coverage of the division.
KGMB-TV’s new owner, Cec Heftel, had seen a TV interview with Jones and offered him a job in Honolulu. Jones recalled it this way: “He offered me twice whatever The Advertiser was paying me. I was a hard-core print guy, but that made me say “what day would you like me to start?’”
He would shortly become a member of KGMB’s legendary anchor teams that included Bob Sevey, Tim Tindall, Jim Leahy, Mel Proctor and Joe Moore.
In 1968 and again in 1972, he would leave KGMB to be an NBC News foreign correspondent in Vietnam and Laos. In 1970, he married journalist Denby Fawcett and she accompanied him on his second NBC tour. Their daughter Brett Jones was born in Saigon in 1973. Jones would then return to Honolulu and anchor at KGMB until he decided to quit in 1994. He would continue to write an opinion column for MidWeek and could be seen zipping around the island on his moped.
He is an Air Force veteran and has a law degree but has never practiced. His hobbies have been flying, scuba diving, and sky diving. He spends his leisure time traveling to exotic locales.