Longstanding citizen of Seattle and beloved KOMO 4 News anchor/reporter Eric Slocum died Feb. 25. He was 54 years old.
Slocum was a staple within the KOMO News team for 16 years (from 1991-2002 on-camera and 2002-2008 on KOMO Newsradio). He left the KOMO fold entirely in 2008 to focus on his memoir titled “In Danger.” His obsessive-compulsive disorder, coming out story and battle with alcoholism and depression were the main ingredients in the work that would never come to fruition.
In 1996, he authored “New Worlds” – a volume of poetry benefitting pediatric AIDS research at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.
The Seattle P.I. reported:
On his Facebook page earlier this year, Slocum wrote that he still battled major depression and suicide every day.
“People don’t like to talk about it,” he wrote. “But we, as a culture, MUST deal with mental illness. I will fight like a bear to get a message of NO (STIGMA) out there for those who suffer chronic depression.”
According to KOMO:
“His real name was Dan, but when he came to KOMO, our news director at the time didn’t want two anchors named Dan,” said KOMO-TV anchor Dan Lewis. “He thought it might confuse our viewers, so he asked Dan Slocum to make a change. He chose his middle name: Eric. I joked with him over the years that I took his real name away from him. What I got in return – what all of us at KOMO got – was a true friendship from a guy who was always a kind gentleman.”
“He always had a smile. That’s what I’ll remember,” said KOMO-TV reporter Keith Eldridge.
“Everyone in our newsroom who worked with and knew Eric is in shock,” said KOMO Newsradio morning anchor Bill Yeend. “We have fond memories of his friendship and the work he did.”
Eric and his partner lived in South Seattle with their rescued pit bulls. He loved the animals that no one else would take.
“This is a sad day for everyone who ever worked with Eric or heard him, during his thousands of hours on radio and TV,” said KOMO Newsradio reporter Corwin Haeck.
The King County medical examiner has ruled Slocum’s death a suicide.