Gene is a native southern Californian, born and raised in Riverside. He graduated from Ramona High School in 1962. He attended Riverside City College and San Diego State University where he graduated with a B.A. in History. Gene later earned a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. He attended Columbia on an NBC Fellowship.
He first broke into radio while he was still in high school. He worked at KICO in Calexico, KFXM in San Bernardino, KWIZ in Santa Ana and KFMB Radio in San Diego. As a 20-year-old disc jockey at KFXM, Gene was on stage with the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964.
Gene worked as a reporter and anchor at KFMB and KGTV in San Diego before moving to ABC7 Eyewitness News in 1980. His assignments have included major aviation and technology stories. Gene was there for the first flight of the Space Shuttle in April, 1981; the Challenger disaster in 1986; the Columbia disaster of 2003; the first flight of the Stealth Bomber in 1989; and all the Voyager planetary flybys. He was the first news reporter to fly the Air Force's B-1 Bomber. He has also flown F-16 Fighter and other high-performance military jets.
Gene received an Associated Press Television Radio Association Award for Best Spot News story for his reporting on the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Gene also won a Golden Mike in 1986 for anchoring ABC7 Eyewitness News coverage of the Cerritos air disaster. Gene also won two Emmy Awards for reporting and anchoring in San Diego and Los Angeles. He won an Emmy in San Diego for coverage of the PSA Air Disaster. He followed up that story by covering the disclosure of deficiencies in the Air Traffic Control System for months afterwards.
Gene has been an active fundraiser for the Riverside Community College Foundation, Five Acres Home for Abused Children in Pasadena and scholarship fund for students at Columbia University. He's also helped raise funds for the PBS stations in San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Monica.