Paul Blaine Parks, 87, one of the first English-language newscasters for the Voice of America, died at his home in Arlington on Wednesday of acute coronary insufficiency.
He had had an active career in the theater before he began announcing for the VOA in New York City in 1942, which was the first year of its operation. The broadcasts then were operated by the Office of War Information.
Mr. Parks came to Washington when the VOA moved here in 1954 and became part of the global radio network of the U.S. Information Agency, now the U.S. International Communication Agency.
His name and voice were known to millions of listeners around the world. He officially retired in 1962 but continued to work for VOA on special assignments until 1975.
He was born in Nelsonville, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1914. In World War I, he served with the U.S. Army in Europe, where he was wounded.
A concert baritone and actor, Mr. Parks appeared on the Broadway stage in musicals. After receiving the David Bispham Memorial Award in 1921 for his work in music, he sang in special concert at Carnegie Hall.He announced for local and network programs in New York.
Mr. Parks was a member of the Players Club in New York and of Trinity Episcopal Church in Arlington.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret, who as Peggy Strickland also sang in Broadway musicals and performed across the country. She is of Arlington. He also leaves two sisters, Doris Pergrin and Florence Fri, both of Nelsonville.