TV and radio broadcaster RALPH STORY, famed for hosting hit series THE $64,000 CHALLENGE in the 1950s, has died. He was 86. Story passed away at his Santa Barbara home on Tuesday (26SEP06) following a long battle with emphysema, according to his close friend and colleague DAN GINGOLD. Gingold says of Story, "He was a wonderfully warm gentleman and an extremely talented journalist. "He was not only a good narrator, but was in his own right a producer and writer who became the unofficial historian of Southern California." Story was born RALPH BERNARD SNYDER and began his broadcasting career in the late 1940s. As well as The $64,000 Challenge, he hosted numerous radio shows, was a writer and producer, and joined KABC-TV in the 1970s, co-hosting a morning news show that became the precursor to Good Morning America. Story is survived by his wife DIANA and his son BRADLEY.