Cal Thomas, an author and retired public broadcaster who raised funds for international co-productions, died Jan. 19 at his home in Topsham, Maine.
The cause of death was cancer. He was 87.
A native of Bangor, Thomas joined Maine Public Broadcasting in its early years. He worked at the network as director of development and public relations from 1968 to 1975, according to his LinkedIn profile. Thomas moved on Pittsburgh’s WQED, where he raised funding for public television’s international co-productions from 1975 to 2010. He then founded a company specializing in international co-productions, including music performance specials featuring Jessye Norman, James Galway and Yo-Yo Ma, among others.
Thomas became an author later in life and penned a series of mystery novels, the Kyle McBride Adventures. The hero, a former intelligence officer turned TV producer, is drawn into international intrigues such as the theft of a Stradivari violin. His third novel, The Vault, will be published this spring.
An obituary provided by his family described Thomas as a “consummate entertainer — on stage and off” whose “contributions to the entertainment industry were instrumental in fostering cultural exchange and appreciation.”
Thomas started his career in the arts as a teacher at the Thomas School of Dance owned by his family and the Maine State Ballet.
Thomas was predeceased by his daughter Kate Thomas. Survivors include son Cal Thomas III (Vicky) of New Jersey, and longtime partner Janie Phillips of Topsham.
A memorial service celebrating Thomas’s life was held Saturday in Topsham. The family requests donations to the Our Lady of Lourdes of Daytona Beach, Fla., in support of the church’s food pantry and other community programs.