By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Apr 21, 2020 at 2:31 PM

Longtime WISN 12 reporter and beloved local news figure Mike Anderson has died. 

As first reported by WISN 12, Anderson passed away on Tuesday morning. He was 67 years old. No cause of death has been officially reported as of publication.

A New Orleans native, Anderson came to WISN 12 and Milwaukee in 1981 after working as an anchor and reporter for KIRO-TV in Seattle. Anderson's career in Brew City would thrive for more than 35 years, becoming one of local media's most recognizable faces and guiding voices before retiring in 2017, making the occasional return to the network in the summer season to help cover notable events – often times donning his signature and iconic hat. 

"Mike Anderson was a transformative figure in the history of television news in Milwaukee," said WISN news director Ben Hart in a statement. "In his storied career, he broke class and color barriers and set the tone for what professionalism looks like. His legacy is clear. Mike had a commitment to fairness, straightforward reporting and relentless pursuit of the truth.

"The WISN 12 family is devastated by his sudden passing. But his contributions as a voice for Milwaukee will be a lasting testament to his impact for years to come."

Shortly after his death was announced, figures from the Milwaukee media community and beyond took to social media to pay tribute to their colleague and friend.

Anderson was an empathetic voice for every community in the city, an inspiration to new and upcoming generations of black journalists, and an essential figure in telling Milwaukee's story for more than three decades. He will be profoundly missed – and OnMilwaukee passes along its deepest condolences to his family and friends during this trying time. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.