KTLA Reporter Sam Rubin’s Cause of Death Revealed

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Sam Rubin’s cause of death has been revealed nearly two months after he passed away unexpectedly

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office released a report on the death of the longtime KTLA entertainment journalist, who died on May 10 at the age of 64. According to the report, Rubin died from ischemic heart disease and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease — both conditions related to the heart. 

“Ischemia is a condition in which blood flow (and thus oxygen) is restricted or reduced in a part of the body. Cardiac ischemia is decreased blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle,” the American Heart Association states. Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease — also known as atherosclerosis — is the hardening of arteries from plaque building up. 

The report also states that Rubin, a KTLA veteran of 30 years and a staple on the station’s popular morning show, died at the hospital. Initial reports indicated that Rubin went into cardiac arrest at his home and taken to UCLA West Hills where he was pronounced dead.

KTLA entertainment journalist Sam Rubin died from ischemic heart disease and atherosclerotic corony artery diseas according to his death reportMichael Bezjian/WireImage for The Artists Project

At the time of his death, KTLA anchor Frank Buckley confirmed the tragic passing of one of their own on air at the start of the afternoon’s broadcast with an emotional tribute. 

“The Sam that you saw on the air is the Sam that was off the air,” Buckley said live, fighting back tears. “To all of us he shared his mornings with on television, and to those he worked with behind the scenes at KTLA, we will not forget him.”

The station followed up the broadcast with a statement shared to their social media pages, writing, “KTLA 5 is profoundly saddened to report the death of Sam Rubin. Sam was a giant in the local news industry and the entertainment world, and a fixture of Los Angeles morning television for decades.”

The tribute continued, “His laugh, charm and caring personality touched all who knew him. Sam was a loving husband and father: the roles he cherished the most. Our thoughts are with Sam’s family during this difficult time.”

Immediately after, Rubin was the recipient of countless social media posts including from celebs like Tom HanksRyan ReynoldsBen StillerHenry WinklerOctavia SpencerMark Hamill and many more.

“Even if I was on my 85th interview that day, I was always happy to see Sam. Even if HE was on his 85th interview that day, he always brought genuine kindness, curiosity and an outside the box question,” Reynolds wrote in a tweet on X. 

“Two things I know — he made you feel special every single time and I am not the only person who felt that warmth every time they sat down at your desk,” shared Winkler.

Hanks also reacted with an Instagram message saying, “Sam Rubin, you will be missed. A good guy, that Sam. Hanx.”

Henry Winkler and Sam Rubin pose for a photo togetherGetty

Days after his death, Rubin’s son, Colby Rubin, appeared on air to memorialize his dad with a touching tribute, calling his dad his “hero.”

“Hi Dad,” Colby began, sitting in his dad’s anchor chair and fighting back tears the entire time. “I wrote this under the desk in the cubicle you used to catch me sleeping, only you weren’t there to wake me up this time. Dad, I can’t believe you are gone.”

Colby emotionally shared stories about his father picking him up from school, taking him to Boy Scouts and Disneyland and imparting life lessons about chasing your dreams and living your life to the fullest. 

He continued, “You won’t be at my wedding. I can’t believe you’re gone. I love you so much.”

Rubin is survived by his wife, Leslie, and four children.


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