TUCSON, Ariz. — She once danced for JFK at the white house. Later she anchored the news on KGUN 9. Even years after leaving the public eye Nina Trasoff still embodies the Spirit of Southern Arizona.
For nine years, she was the face of KGUN 9 news, or NewsCenter 9 as it was known then. Nina Trasoff was an anchor and reporter at KGUN from the mid 70's to the mid 80's.
"I look back at some of the stories I did, and some of the documentaries, and I'm very proud of those things," Trasoff said.
Her journey to the news desk had a few twists and turns along the way.
"Before I came to Tucson I was a professional dancer. I worked on Broadway, I danced at the White House for John Kennedy as a teenager, I did three of the biggest flops in Broadway history" Trasoff said. "Then I moved to Los Angeles and did a lot of television and some nightclub work with Sammy Davis, and Charlie Rich in Vegas. It was a very wonderful way to misspend my twenties."
Nina says she grew up a news addict. She went back to school and then took a job at KGUN in Tucson. Her intention was to get good enough to get a job in L.A.
"Then I found I really fell in love with Tucson and the fact that you could make a difference here, as a journalist. You could tell stories that could actually impact people's lives because of the size of this community and I loved KGUN," said Trasoff.
Tucson is also where she met her husband Rod.
"We decided this is where we wanted to live and raise our children. So, I've been here for almost 46 years."
After nearly a decade at KGUN, Nina set off on a career in communications, with a stint as a member of the Tucson City Council.
One of the things she's most proud of while on council... "The elephants at the zoo," Trasoff said.
Trasoff fought to expand the elephant exhibit, taking away a soccer field. Not a popular decision at the time, it has become a major attraction.
"We have a herd there specifically because we took the chance and expanded."
She considers Nandi, the young elephant born in 2014, to be her only granddaughter, since she has five grandsons. After losing her husband just over a year ago, she has plans to travel with those grandsons, but she'll always return to Tucson.
"When I came here I felt like I was part of a community, and I still feel that way. No matter how large we've gotten we still retain being Tucson, being a big small town," Trasoff said.
Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.