LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The WHAS-TV family is mourning the death of the man who put our daylong Kentucky Derby coverage in the 1980s and 1990s on the map.
Former director Jerry Drury died Monday in Louisville at Norton Hospital.
Drury was the director and producer of our Kentucky Derby coverage, which at one point made for a 14-hour broadcast day. He started working at WHAS11 in 1970.
He won dozens of awards and worked with the greats like Cawood Ledford of WHAS and Jim McKay of ABC. McKay would also be in our TV compound during Derby week.
Drury was the captain of the ship on Derby day. He wrote the scripts then directed the look down to the second. His first derby was 1980 and his last one, 2000, when ABC sports broadcast its final Derby.
We all knew him as “‘Ol Dru” because he called himself that. The Harrodsburg native died at the age of 72.
In our minds, he left us an amazing legacy, in director’s terms, he’ll never “fade to black.”
Here’s Jerry’s obituary as it appeared in the Courier-Journal on May 1, 2019.
Jerry Dale Drury
Louisville – The man behind the broadcasting and production of the biggest day in the State of Kentucky, “The Kentucky Derby”, Mr. Jerry Dale Drury, 72 of Louisville passed away April 29, 2019 at Norton Brownsboro Hospital. He was born May 6, 1946 in Harrodsburg, Kentucky to the late Marshall and Gladys Sanders Drury. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Buddy Coleman.
Jerry obtained his Masters degree in Counseling with an undergrad in Communications in 1968 from Western Kentucky University and was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was a brilliant, intelligent man. Jerry considered the Kentucky Derby his Holiday. He worked as a television producer for 25 years with WHAS 11 and ESPN, making sure that the Derby went off without a hitch. He was involved every year with the WHAS Crusade for Children which was near and dear to his heart. He was also an avid University of Kentucky fan. He was known to many as “Ole Dru.”
Those left to cherish his memory are his son, Spencer Drury and his wife Stacey; two granddaughters, Emma and Mayzie; a cousin, Diane Thacker; and numerous friends and colleagues.
Visitation for Jerry will be held from 2-8 p.m., Friday, May3, 2019 at Ratterman Funeral Home, 12900 Shelbyville Road, East Louisville. A private burial will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions in memory of Jerry may be made to the WHAS Crusade for Children, 520 West Chestnut Street, Louisville, KY 40202.
Published in The Courier-Journal on May 1, 2019