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Beloved KTLA reporter Sam Rubin’s son delivers heartfelt on-air eulogy

“Dad, I can’t believe you’re gone. You’ll never pick me up from school again.”
Sam Rubin / Colby Rubin
You were the kindest soul, you were the light in every room," Sam Rubin's youngest said. "I can’t imagine my life without you. You were part of my everything."Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

The teen son of a beloved late entertainment reporter fought tears through an on-air eulogy to his “hero” dad.

Sam Rubin, 65, who had been a fixture on Los Angeles television station KTLA for three decades, died on May 11. According to KTLA, Rubin died of a heart attack.

The popular entertainment journalist was a favorite of celebrities: Viola Davis wrote, “Your professionalism was unmatched by your kindness and humanity,” Tom Hanks called him “a good guy” while Ryan Reynolds shared, “He always brought genuine kindness, curiosity and an outside the box question.” Jodie Sweetin wrote, “His enthusiasm and smile will be greatly missed.”

Rubin, who was married to Leslie Gale Shuman, had four children: Perry, 28, Rory, 23, Darcy, 18, and Colby, 16.

On May 13, Rubin’s 16-year-old son, Colby Rubin, appeared on KTLA to read a letter he penned to his dad.

Sam Rubin had four children, Perry, Rory, Darcy and Colby.
Sam Rubin had four children, Perry, Rory, Darcy and Colby.Courtesy KTLA

“Hi Dad, I wrote this under the desk in your cubicle where you used to catch me sleeping,” Colby said, his voice shaking with emotion. “Only you weren’t there to wake me up this time. Dad, I can’t believe you’re gone. You’ll never pick me up from school again. We’ll never get to go biking. We’ll never argue about food. You won’t be at my wedding. I can’t believe you are gone.”

The teen continued, “I love you, so much. On the day you died, I hope you heard me say that. You were the kindest soul, you were the light in every room. I can’t imagine my life without you. You were part of my everything. You took me to every Boy Scout meeting, every physical therapy appointment, every trip to Disney. You were always there.”

Colby included few memories of his “incredible father and friend.”

Sam Rubin and son Colby's text message conversation.
Colby Rubin, 16, shared sweet text messages between him and his late father, entertainment journalist Sam Rubin. Courtesy KTLA

“On our car rides, you taught me so much about life, about your work, about how you got to wake up every day and do what you loved,” said Colby. “I idolized you and you are, and will always be, my hero. And I never got to tell you that and I’m so sorry, Dad.”

He added, “I remember on a Boy Scout trip, I was the only kid in our group who didn’t have a kayak and partner and you were there for me. I remember how you drove me at 3:00 in the morning to get me from a sleepover, I remember you coming to all my plays and supporting me when I was unsure of myself.”

Pausing to collect his emotions, Colby shared screenshots of a text message conversation between him and his father. Colby had been nervous about an upcoming performance and wanted his dad to pick him up. His response was firm but loving.

Sam Rubin and son Colby's text message conversation.
Colby Rubin, the son of late KTLA reporter Sam Rubin, shared snippets of a text exchange between him and his father on air.Courtesy KTLA

“I never would have dropped you off if I wasn’t 1000% sure that you could do this,” Rubin wrote to his son. “You are going to be fine ... Ignore the noise. You will get bad reviews for every show ... probably most of the kids feel the same way. But everyone is going to dig deep and do a great job. You have excellent genes. You have every gift. Respect your own talent.”

Colby was thankful for his dad’s presence.

“You always knew what to say and ... you encouraged me and you loved me every day and built me up,” the teen said on air. “I am completely who I am because of you.”

Colby referenced a KTLA Q&A with Rubin, which he said, “Perfectly encompasses who you are.” Asked for his favorite dessert, Rubin said, “All desserts all the time. For me it’s more than just a sweet tooth, it’s all my teeth.”

The teen shared a piece of his dad’s signature humor: “We used to joke about getting a paternity test because we don’t look alike.” He added, “You are a beautiful human and you will never be forgotten.”

Addressing people who reached out to his family after Rubin’s death, Colby said, “Hug your parents, your siblings, your friends, every day — every single day — cherish your loved ones. My dad and I loved each other so much. I could spend forever thinking about everything we didn’t do but every day, I wake up with a choice: I get another day to honor his memory and to share the same love he shared with me, with those around me.”

Colby concluded, “Dad, I love you. I am so lost without you. I’ll miss you every day. I hope you know how loved you are.”