Rick Bentley

Reedley grad leaves his mark in television

Danny Villanueva, left, with his son Danny in 1997. Villanueva died Thursday, June 18, 2015, at age 77.
Danny Villanueva, left, with his son Danny in 1997. Villanueva died Thursday, June 18, 2015, at age 77. TNS

Univision co-founder Danny Villanueva, who died on June 18, graduated from Reedley College (known as Kings River at that time) before landing a scholarship to play football at New Mexico State University. After an eight-year stint in the NFL as a placekicker and punter, Villanueva moved into radio and TV.

He was instrumental in getting KFTV (Channel 21.1) on the air and was involved with Los Angeles radio station KMEX in creating a Spanish language radio network.

In 1988, Villanueva was one of the first selections for the opening of the National Hispanic Hall of Fame. In 2003, he was selected by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to be part of the first group inducted into the Management Hall of Fame.

Villanueva also was selected in 2007 to be part of the inaugural group of the Hispanic Sports Foundation for Education Inc.’s National Hispanic Hall Of Fame.

He was 77.

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