Gloria Campos' roots are in Harlingen

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by CYNTHIA IZAGUIRRE

WFAA

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 4 at 12:14 AM

HARLINGEN, Texas — This week, we celebrate 30 years with Gloria Campos as she prepares to retire from the anchor chair at WFAA.

Before she arrived in North Texas, Gloria left her mark in South Texas.

Her first job out of college was working as a TV news reporter in her home town of Harlingen, in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, where her family still lives.

"She was darling... she was so smart!" boasted her mom, Gaudi Campos.

Gloria is the oldest of four siblings where she was the boss.

"We always had our Barbie doll parties, and Gloria kind of ruled the parties, like, 'Meet me at Mom's bathroom, because we're going to have a pool party and your Barbies are invited!" said her sister, Debbie Campos.

Being the first born, Gloria held a special place in her maternal grandmother's heart. She taught Gloria one of the greatest lessons in life.

"She pampered her; she loved her," said Gloria's mom. "She catered to her ways and she always insisted that Gloria get a good education."

It is evident that Gloria comes from humble beginnings and a lot of love.

"I love her very much... I do," said her dad, Roberto Campos. "I love all my girls, my boy. I'll do anything for them that I can."

Growing up in a community rich with military tradition, Gloria learned by by her parents' example the importance of service to one's community and country.

"I worked with Marines, Marine raiders, Rangers, Paratroopers. commandos from Australia and New Zealand... we all worked together," Roberto Campos said.

After he left a Navy career that took him into the battlegrounds of World War II's South Pacific, Roberto Campos spent 36 years as a Harlingen firefighter.

Gloria's mother, Gaudi, taught their four children to always volunteer and help one another, something Gloria took to heart.

"She's been my best friend, my mentor," Debbie said. "She's always been there for me through thick and thin when I've had bad health. She's been at my rescue and by my side when times were tough."

And what Gloria keeps to herself, her mother tells the world proudly.

'She's been very generous with her time and her money," Gaudi Campos said.

Starting at home. Gloria practiced "Family First" long before coming to WFAA.

"When you need family, she was always there for me," Debbie said. "So how can I ever repay her? I don't know how, other than just love. She's been a great sister."

"I think she inspires people to be better," brother Rob Campos said. "I think as an adult, that's what you're supposed to do, really, for young people of any race or color, is to be a good example. Just like my father; he's a veteran. He's my hero, too."

Gloria has always striven to set a good example.

One week after graduating from Southwest Texas State University, she began her career at KGBT-TV in Harlingen, where she worked from 1976-1984 before coming to WFAA.

It's at KGBT where she worked with former journalist Bill Young.

"We were part of a really award-winning shop," he said. "We did well together. We had a good product and we kicked butt!"

And it's a good thing Gloria is calling it a career now, because there is a new star in the Campos family — her niece, baby Lola.

As Gloria prepares to start a new chapter in her life, her family couldn't be more proud.

"I cannot even come close to explaining the feeling, because it's enormous," her mom said. "It makes my heart swell... very, very proud."

Lola is the first baby in the family since Gloria's twins were born 20 years ago. The Campos family says Lola has brought them joy, and it's a good thing Tia Gloria will be around more to spoil her rotten!

E-mail cizaguirre@wfaa.com

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