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Former KARE reporter Brad Woodard dies at 51

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Brad Woodard, a reporter for 16 years at KARE 11 before leaving for a station in Houston, was found dead in his Houston home Wednesday.

He was 51.

The Houston station, KHOU, posted word of Woodard's death Thursday.

"Authorities discovered his body Wednesday morning after a relative called police to check on him after Brad failed to return several phone calls," KHOU News Director Philip Bruce wrote. "Investigators say there was no evidence of foul play."

Woodard worked at KARE from 1990-2006. He joined KHOU in 2006 and was there until March of this year.

Woodard was an "old school" journalist and was widely regarded as one of the best writers in the television news community. As a person, friends and colleagues describe him as a "kind man with a soft heart."

He combined those traits to create a reporter with a special gift for telling touching stories.

KARE says Woodard won more than 20 Emmy awards over his career, and took home a National Press Club Award in 2008.

His story about the life of a 10-year-old boy living with epilepsy earned the reporter a National Epilepsy Foundation Distinguished Journalism Award in 2008.

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Woodard, who was from Haynesville, North Carolina, earned his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia in 1984, and was also a graduate of the Pushkin Institute for Russian Language in Moscow, KARE says.

In one of his memorable pieces, Woodard journeyed with an Auschwitz survivor as he returned to Poland.

Known as a reporter with a passion for animals, KARE says Woodard's national awards include Genesis Awards in 1994, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2007 – honors that are now administered by the Humane Society of the U.S.

Woodard was honored for his investigative reports that exposed cruelty to animals used in research and in the production of drugs, the station says.

Woodard's longtime colleague at KARE, Boyd Huppert, told the Star Tribune that he was a reporter “who really cared and often formed long-lasting relationships with the subjects of his stories.”

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