Long before celebrities like Tom Hanks and Will Smith were hollering Sam Rubin’s name on the red carpet, Sam was literally delivering the news to people around his Rancho Park neighborhood.
At 12 years old, he had a paper route because he just always wanted to work.
Sam also contributed to the news before appearing on KTLA by writing for the school newspaper at Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School and then at University High School. He served as vice president during his senior year of high school.
He has also always had a love for entertainment and dabbled in the theater scene.
In junior high, he starred as the prime minister in “The King and I,” which had a specific requirement.
“I had to do the whole thing with my shirt off,” he revealed.
While he wasn’t a stereotypical jock, he did participate on Emerson’s bowling team.
“We had very good luck! We finished fourth place All City in the whole LAUSD,” he said. “I was pretty good, I broke 257 with my high score ever and I broke 200 several more occasions.”
“Sam claims to be this big time bowler, captain of the bowling team,” his childhood friend Ken Tsuboi laughed.
Growing up, Sam had a tight-knit group of friends that he’s still close with now, and they take yearly “mancations” and have been doing so for about two decades.
“We’ve done a lot of adventure trips, camping trips, we’ve done some Vegas trips,” he explained. “The trip is the excuse and these are the people who’ve known me, effectively, my entire life.”
The squad is eyeing Nepal as their next vacation destination.
Being raised in West L.A., Sam and his mom would often walk up to Pico Boulevard almost every night after dinner. For a bite to eat, he and his dad would frequent the Apple Pan, and now he takes his own kids.
While many often want to leave their hometowns, Sam always wanted to stay in L.A.
“I never ever want to move. I’ve had a wonderful personal experience here, a wonderful professional experience here,” he explained. “I’ve only worked in Los Angeles except for one summer in El Centro-Yuma and I was the weatherman and the sportscaster.”
Who could blame him? L.A. has been very good to him.
He is a multiple-time Emmy winner, and he’s received the Golden Mike Award for best entertainment reporter and a lifetime achievement award from the Southern California Broadcasters Association – to name a few accolades.
“I am extraordinarily grateful for this gig. It’s very rare. It’s the most wonderful thing to have what you enjoy, what you do for fun, actually be your occupation.”
My Very Own Story series will air Thursdays at 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m.
Track the stories online at ktla.com/mystory.