Diego Castellanos retired from 6abc in September of 2018.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Diego Castellanos, a former 6abc employee and the longtime host of Puerto Rican Panorama, has passed away. He was 88 years old.
Castellanos was a leading voice for the Hispanic community in Philadelphia and beyond. For nearly 50 years he hosted a program that addressed the needs of his growing community.
The show ran from 1970 until Castellanos' retirement in 2018.
"He always saw it as his mission to shed light on what we Puerto Ricans in Philly and the Delaware Valley were all about," said former Action News photographer Lou Lozado.
He called Castellanos a renaissance man.
"Not many people know that he was a pilot. He was an academician with a PhD degree. He was a musician. He was a father and a husband," said Lozado.
Castellanos' daughter, Felicia, said her father's impact, particularly on the Puerto Rican community, was massive. She said he is the reason she is so proud of her heritage.
"I think being proud to be Hispanic and be Puerto Rican...you didn't see it as much back then," said Felicia.
Action News spoke with Felicia on her father's former set of Puerto Rican Panorama. The set was home to countless celebrities and dignitaries, giving an all too important voice to the Hispanic community.
"It's overwhelming," said Felicia. "It's incredible because my dad loved his show and I think he would be amazed to see you guys have kept everything."
Castellanos was also honored with an induction into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame in 2002.
Relatives and friends are invited to pay their respects on Thursday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Bradley & Stow Funeral Home located on Medford-Mt. Holly Road in Medford, NJ., followed by a service at noon.
Castellanos' family issued this statement to Action News:
"It is with heavy hearts that we announce that our dad, Dr. Diego Castellanos, passed away this morning. We wanted to share this news with you because he so loved being a part of the WPVI ABC family. After his family, his show was one of his proudest achievements. Services are currently being arranged.
Felicia Castellanos and Cathy Kemp"