Please Remember

Departed Members and Friends of the New York Press Club

Michael Littlejohns
G. Michael Littlejohns



For many years, Chief UN Correnpondent for Reuters.
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Please visit The Baron website, source of the report below.

Michael Littlejohns, who died in New York aged 91 on Friday (3 January), will be remembered as Reuters' legendary veteran chief correspondent at the United Nations and one of the best-connected journalists on the global diplomatic scene.

Littlejohns died peacefully in a hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side. His partner of 50 years, Wilhelmina, died on 24 October, 2013.

Born in Launceston, Cornwall, Littlejohns served as a uniformed official RAF correspondent during World War II. He worked for several West Country newspapers and briefly for the Daily Mail before joining Reuters in 1951, working initially on the Central Desk as a senior sub-editor and copytaster.

He was assigned to New York in January 1955, succeeding John "Pat" Heffernan as UN bureau chief in 1957 when Heffernan, then president of the United Nations Correspondents' Association, became chief correspondent in Washington. Littlejohns himself became UNCA president in 1969.

Along with correspondent Anthony Goodman, he knew everyone at UN headquarters and beyond in the world of diplomacy.

"Mike Littlejohns was the king of reporting at the United Nations with superb contacts and great judgment on major diplomatic negotiations at the world body," said Jonathan Fenby, former Reuters editor. "He wrote fast and fluently, and trained younger members of staff in the news agency art, making himself a mainstay of the global reporting operation."

When Evelyn Leopold succeeded him in 1989 Littlejohns freelanced from the UN for the Financial Times for some years and went to work for the United Nations itself, leading "World Chronicle", a UN television programme, for several years.

Littlejohns was godfather to Sarah Dallas, daughter of the late Roland Dallas, one of many Reuters correspondents who worked with him at UN headquarters. "He was an inspiration and mentor to many young and promising journalists, including my father," she said. "Mike was a truly wonderful person, witty and erudite, with infinite charm and a wealth of friends. He was also a devoted godfather, and it was my good fortune to be with him when he died. Many doctors and nurses gathered at his bedside too; a very unusual occurrence, I was told. During his stay at Lenox Hill Hospital, he touched everyone with his gracious wit and humour and lovely manner."

G. Michael Littlejohns was a longtime member of the New York Press Club, maintaining Active membership through 2013.

Stan Brooks
Stan Brooks



Pioneer radio newsman on first all-news station, 1010 WINS.
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New York Press Club Board member and one of New York City's longest-serving journalists, Stan Brooks, died at home this afternoon of the effects of a recurrent cancer. A memorial service will be held this Friday, 1:15 p.m., at Riverside Memorial, Amstrerdam and W 76 Street.

86 years old and robust until recently, Stan never retired from all-news radio station 1010 WINS where of late he was on the City Hall beat. He filed what turned out to be his last report from there in late November. Not long afterward, on December 9th, he attended the Press Club's annual Holiday Party (photo above) as he and his late wife, Lynn, who died earlier this year, had done for decades.

Stan was treasurer of the New York Press Club at the time of his death. He was an inaugural member of the Press Club's New York Journalism Hall of Fame, inducted in 2008 along with colleague, Gabe Pressman.

Upon learning of Stan's passing, Pressman, long time WNBC newsman and president of the New York Press Club Foundation, said, "Stan Brooks was a gift to New York and broadcast journalism. At the holiday party, he and I reminisced about the great stories of the past and the state of journalism today. He was a great journalist and he had one important quality: he loved what he did. Stan kept the faith to the very last days of his life. He could do no less. His devotion to the journalistic craft should be an inspiration to the young broadcast reporters of today."

Press Club President, Larry Seary, said about Stan, "Stan Brooks was one of our most cherished and respected Board Members. His input, professionalism and good nature will be missed greatly. During these times of constant upheaval, Stan was among few who stood the test of time, able to meet ever-changing demands. He was a special man and a model for all journalists. We extend our condolences to the Brooks family."

Ben Mevorach, news director at 1010 WINS, has written extensively about Stan's career and his many contributions to radio reporting in New York. With video and audio clips, Ben's piece, excerpted below, is a splendid memorial to a distinctive voice on New York radio, now stilled.

EXCERPTS FROM THE 1010 WINS STAN BROOKS MEMORIAL PAGE. PLEASE VISIT THE SOURCE TO SEE IT ALL, INCLUDING MULTIMEDIA MATERIAL ABOUT AND FEATURING STAN BROOKS.


His strength was his humility. His stature was his dignity. He was just over 5 feet in height but was a giant of a man. 1010 WINS senior correspondent Stan Brooks died peacefully at his home on Monday afternoon. He was 86 years and 11 months old. He worked until he was 86 years and 10 months old.

How do you tell the story of the story teller? How do you provide perspective on the man who pioneered the most successful and recognized all-news brand in radio history? How do you compose a symphony that plays the notes of a 60-year love affair between a husband and wife? How do you let go and say goodbye?

For more than 50 years Stan has been telling news stories on 1010 WINS. He was doing it when WINS was still a rock-n-roll station. In fact he'd been doing it for so long, his colleagues often joked that everyone in New York City had been interviewed by Stan at least once. His favorite song lyric came from Neil Young's "My My, Hey Hey." He quoted it whenever anyone asked him when he was going to retire: "….Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away."

Brooksie, as he was called by just about everyone who knew him, "Was a child of the Bronx, small and shy, 182nd Street and Walton Avenue home ground, played in the streets, stick-ball, hockey (on roller skates), marbles, urban baseball (against the walls) and for a 13th or 14th birthday, was given a fortuitous little printing press out of which was born The Walton Avenue News, the inception of his journalistic career," according to Eve Berliner, former editor of The Silurian News.

Stan told Berliner that he listened to Uncle Don and the old radio serial shows, his favorite, NBC's stentorian-voiced Kenneth Banghart. His real interest was in the newspapers that his father would bring home with him each evening: The New York Post, The Journal American, PM, Compass and The Star.

He wrote for his high school newspaper, "The Clinton News" at DeWitt Clinton H.S. It was a general news column entitled "The Gossiper" and later changed to "Babbling Brooks." He was a blogger before there was a name for it!

He told Berliner that his heroes were Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, the Brooklyn Dodgers and his brother, Alan Brooks, sports editor of The Heights Daily News at NYU, his inspiration who went on to become a doctor.

And then, there was the trombone (add Tommy Dorsey to that list of idols) which now sits on a stand in his bedroom, a gift from his three sons who had it repaired and re-polished. His son George, a virtuoso jazz saxophonist, took up the mantle of music.

According to Berliner, Brooks had been drafted out of City College into the Infantry in 1945 landing him overseas post-World War II as a trombonist in a dance band entertaining the troops in Hawaii! The aspiring trombonist returned to the states, graduated from Syracuse University and became a reporter and editor at Newsday for the next 11 years. In 1962, he landed a job at 1010 WINS. Before 'You Give Us 22 Minutes, We'll Give You the World' became a household slogan, Stan was doing a two minute newscast at the top of the hour, working alongside legendary deejays like Murray the K and Jack Lacey.

In December 1964, the bosses at Westinghouse (owners of 1010 WINS at the time) asked Stan what he thought about changing the station format from Top 40 to all-news. Stan responded, "All-news? What's that? That of course became the launch of All News. All The Time and Stan was the station's first News Director.

In 1967 he was named National Correspondent for Westinghouse Broadcasting. He covered the major stories of our generation and the generation before that: The fight for civil rights; the Watts riots; Chappaquiddick; the Vietnam War demonstrations; the '68 Democratic National Convention in Chicago; Malcolm X's funeral; the crash of TWA Flight 800; the attacks on September 11th and innumerable others. He would eventually step down to go back to reporting but he continued to be the heart and soul of the station.

On September 9. 1971, Stan covered the Attica Prison uprising when about 1,000 of the Attica prison's approximately 2,200 inmates rebelled and seized control of the prison, taking 42 staff hostage. During the following four days of negotiations, authorities agreed to 28 of the prisoners' demands, but would not agree to demands for complete amnesty from criminal prosecution for the prison takeover or for the removal of Attica's superintendent. By the order of then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller, state police took back control of the prison. When the uprising was over, at least 43 people were dead, including ten correctional officers, civilian employees and 33 inmates.

In September 1998, Swissair flight 111 took off from JFK and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean just five miles from the tiny fishing and tourist community of Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. Stan was on vacation in Peggy's Cove. He was the first reporter on the scene. In the summer of 2003 Stan reported live from under his desk at City Hall as a gunman opened fire in the city council chambers. He signed off from his live report, "I'm outta here."

Most days, Stan started his shift at City Hall. Everyone knew him. Everyone respected him. NYPD security officers assigned to the hall took pictures with him, newspaper reporters did stories on him, and decades of mayoral news conferences often started with the mayor asking, "Is Stan here yet?"

Stan didn't believe in 'gotcha journalism,' a style of reporting more often about the reporter than holding politicians accountable. Not that Stan wasn't tough. He often got into verbal tussles with elected officials. He frustrated them, they occasionally lashed out at him but Stan never took the bait. He remained courteous and respectful while never backing away from getting answers. In the end, Stan was ALWAYS right and it wasn't uncommon for politicians to correct course after being questioned by Stan.

When CBS Radio Executive Vice President Scott Herman was the General Manager of 1010 WINS, he promoted Stan to the title of Senior Correspondent. When told the new position also came with a pay raise, Stan graciously accepted the title but would not accept the raise. Mr. Herman said Stan simply said, "I don't want to make more than any of the other reporters."

When he talked about his illness and the inevitable outcome, Brooksie said, "Tell everyone that I have been truly blessed with a wonderful life; a life that was more than I could have ever asked for or have ever expected." Then in a voice filled with humility and dignity he added, "Don't worry. I'll be OK."

Stan's last story aired on November 21, 2013. He was reporting on the outgoing mayor, the incoming mayor and the city budget. A very fitting last assignment.

Our Brooksie leaves behind three sons and a bushel full of grandchildren. Bennett, his youngest son, said Stan was spared much of the pain often associated with his type of cancer and that he was telling jokes up until his final days. He was a treasure and he was treasured by all who were fortunate enough to circle within his constellation. He will be missed but he will be OK. He would be very happy if we would be OK too.

STATEMENT OF MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON THE PASSING OF STAN BROOKS, December 23, 2013

"Today, New York City today lost an honorable man, a legendary reporter and a trusted voice.

Everyone who knew Stan can tell you an amazing story about him. Here is one of mine: A couple years back, Stan had a heart procedure and was in the hospital. I wanted to call him, so I asked my Press Secretary at the time, Stu Loeser, to connect us. Before trying the hospital, Stu called Stan's cell phone, assuming his wife Lynn, or one of the sons would pick up. It seemed like the quickest way to get through to the family.

Stu called, and a voice answered: 'Hello, Stan Brooks, 1010 WINS.' From his hospital bed shortly after a heart procedure, he answered the phone like he was getting a call on a story.

Stu was standing next to my desk in the bullpen, and I noticed he looked surprised. He then handed me the phone. As I took it I asked him which family member it was – but didn't get an answer. And then I heard Stan's voice on the other end.

That was Stan Brooks – nothing ever stopped him from doing the job he loved, a job he did with class and integrity for 50 years. New Yorkers were lucky to have him on the dial.

Last week at an event for past and present City Hall reporters, we honored Stan by naming the radio room at City Hall in his honor, and his family joined us at Gracie Mansion to accept on his behalf. To say you could see the love and respect they felt for Stan would be an understatement – and it was a feeling shared by everyone in the room. The Stan Brooks Radio Room will stand as fitting tribute to a journalist who truly did it the right away.

Stan was loved by his colleagues and friends inside and outside the business. And maybe the most telling measure about him: he was even liked and respected by his most cranky listeners – the many mayors he covered. Our thoughts and prayers are with Stan's family, and may he rest in peace."

John Noel
John Noel, WNBC-TV



Brain cancer claims Brooklyn native.
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John Noel, a Brooklyn native who covered local and national news as an Emmy-winning reporter for WNBC-TV, died this morning after a battle with brain cancer, station executives said. He was 62.

Although Noel, was diagnosed with the illness two years ago, he continued to report the news and cover his Brooklyn beat while receiving treatments. He had been off the air for almost three months.

"Our WNBC family sends its thoughts and prayers to John's family," the station said in a statement. "He will be sincerely missed."

After growing up in Brooklyn, Noel joined the Air Force in the 1970s. He became interested in the business while deployed in Thailand where he was a radio programmer and announcer for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network.

When he returned to the US, he went to college on the GI Bill. Noel attended Brooklyn College, graduating summa cum laude, and went on to get a MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri. He joined WNBC in 1998 after reporting stops in Detroit and St. Louis.

Noel kept close ties to Brooklyn's Caribbean community. "As a fellow Brooklynite, Grenadian-American and alum of Brooklyn College, I felt a special pride watching John's reporting and the superb character he displayed to those who knew him," said city councilman Jumaane Williams.

"As an award-winning journalist, he served as a source of pride for the Caribbean community and an inspiration to a generation of journalists of color."

A longtime member of the New York Press Club, John is survived by his ex-wife, daughter and parents.

Jeanne King
Jeanne King



Pioneering female journalist and award-winning courtroom reporter who covered many of the country's most famous criminal trials.
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Jeanne King, a pioneering female journalist, author of three books and award-winning courtroom reporter who covered many of the country's most famous criminal trials, died on February 3rd in New York. She was 80.

Her death, at Lenox Hill Hospital, was confirmed by her son, Christopher King.

King, who was born in Manhattan, entered journalism at a time when female reporters were largely confined to "women's pages" focused on food, fashion and society news. Over the next forty years, she covered hundreds of high-profile trials for Reuters and specialized in gaining exclusive access to defense lawyers and defendants.

Working across the country, she covered the Boston Strangler, Sam Sheppard, Patty Hearst and Klaus von Bulow trials. In New York, she covered the trials of "preppie murderer" Robert Chambers; youths accused of racially-charged killings in Howard Beach and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn; and Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine other men for the first World Trade Center bombing.

In a New York Newsday profile published in 2000, King said paying attention to the "little things" in a courtroom was the key to bringing legal drama to life. A witnesses' gestures and demeanor, she said, as well as how long they spent on the stand, were telling.

"Observe things," she said. "That's how it ought to be done."

One of her books, which described how a mother and son murdered a wealthy New York socialite, was turned into an award-winning television movie. She also covered American daredevil Robert "Evel" Kneivel's jump over the Snake River in Idaho, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and death of Robert F. Kennedy.

The daughter of a housewife and a travelling salesman who sold jukeboxes, pinball machines and coin-operated children's rides, King grew up in Washington Heights. As a child, she read Nancy Drew novels and watched Perry Mason win trials on television. After graduating from the High School of Arts and Design in Manhattan, she initially pursued a career in acting.

At 19, she moved to Los Angeles and worked as a stand-in and under-study for Anne Jackson in the 1950 film "So Young, So Bad," which also starred 19-year-old Rita Moreno. King then wrote copy for the 1950s television game show "Queen for a Day" and worked as a clerk for the Screen Actors Guild.

Returning to New York, King was hired by actress Faye Emerson and radio host Art Ford as an assistant. Eventually, her interest in crime stories led her to start covering trials as a freelance journalist. Her big break came in 1966, when she convinced the Staten Island Advance to send her to Ohio to cover the re-trial of Dr. Sam Sheppard on murder charges.

Over the next four decades, King covered hundreds of state and federal criminal trials in for Reuters. In 1994, she won the Newswomen's Club of New York Deadline Award for coverage of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. She later served as the club's president.

King was the author of three books. "Dead End," published in 2002, recounted the trial of the mother-son convicted of killing the New York socialite. "Never Seen Again," described the 2006 conviction of a Nashville lawyer for murdering his wife. And "Signed in Blood" recounted the 2008 conviction of two elderly California women for befriending two homeless men, taking out life insurance on them and killing them.

A resident of Forest Hills, Queens for forty-five years, King was a longtime members of the New York Press Club, a member of the Democratic Club of Queens and head of the board of trustees at the Church-in-the-Gardens. She married the late Earl King, the former opinion page editor of the Daily News, in 1968. She is survived by her son Christopher, an actor, writer and producer; her sister Selma Primanzon; and three nephews.

Ray Frier
Raymond Frier



Friend and advisor to many elected officials.
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Ray Frier, a fixture in city political circles, died early on March 12, 2012. He was 73.

Frier, who died in his sleep at his home in Hell’s Kitchen, was a public relations executive and lobbyist with the firm Constantinople & Vallone and an unofficial counselor to many city pols.

“Everybody knows Ray Frier,” said City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Queens), a close friend. “He was a friend and confidant to countless elected officials, known by them and certainly admired by them and loved by them, not something you find a lot of in this business.”

Frier, who was born and raised in the South Bronx, was a National Guard veteran and traveled the world as an officer with the Merchant Marine before getting into politics. He was particularly active in local issues in Hell’s Kitchen, and helped to orchestrate the annual Fleet Week celebration.

Frier was a devout Catholic and dedicated parishioner at the Church of the Holy Cross on W. 42nd St. He was a member of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Bishop Molloy Retreat House in Jamaica Estates.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Irma, and a brother, Robert, of Covina, Ca.

Dee Richard
Dee Richard



Society and Political Writer Beloved in Queens.
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Dee Richard, the top gossip and political columnist in Queens, died Tuesday, May 22, at her Beechhurst home after a brief illness. She was 86.

A longtime contributor to the TimesLedger Newspapers, her "Dishing with Dee" column chronicled the behind-the-scenes developments in the borough's political circles and captured the public personas of Queens lawmakers in her photo pages. She also followed the borough's social scene through her coverage of fund-raisers and parties at many of Queens' watering holes.

A long time member of the New York Press Club, Dee filed her last column and photo page called "Focus on Queens" for the newspaper the day before she died.

She is survived by her husband, Jim Darmos.

Gil Noble
Gilbert Edward "Gil" Noble (1932-2012)



WABC-TV anchor and pioneering documentarian of the Black experience.
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Seve Chambers is a freelance journalist. He has contributed to The Wall Street Journal and The Local blog (Fort Greene & Clinton Hill) from The New York Times. He is also the winner of two Mark Of Excellence awards from The Society Of Professional Journalists. You can reach him on Twitter at @SChambersBK.

When I was young my family raised me on Gil Noble's show "Like It Is," which partly inspired me to become a reporter. As the news of his death was announced a lot of people did not know who he was, so I wrote this to explain why he was so highly regarded as a journalist.

The man who helped to shape how professional news organizations would report on black communities died April 5th. Gil Noble, former anchor for WABC-TV and host of the long running show “Like It Is,” passed away peacefully at the age of 80 after having spent most of his life reporting on news and issues pertaining to black people. As the owner of one of the largest archives of interviews, documentaries and footage of black history that he mostly produced himself, he was known for being a giant in the journalism field for his numerous contributions.

"Gil Noble was a pioneer in our industry. He helped to chronicle a time in our nation's history where society was undergoing tremendous change," said Gregory Lee, Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists, in a statement. "His impact was felt beyond the New York media market because of his newsmaker interviews and because of his commitment to providing impactful and insightful coverage of the African-American community.”

Born in 1932, Gil started in the field as a reporter for the radio station WLIB during 1962. A graduate of City College where he studied journalism, his experience covering the Harlem community in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement was one that would shape his understanding of journalism. He made his transition to television when he joined WABC-TV in 1967 as one of the station's first black reporters and also served as an anchor on weekends.

One of the first stories Gil covered for WABC was the Newark riots of 1967 which erupted when citizens there witnessed two cops arrest a black cab driver. Looking to get both sides of the story when many reporters preferred to speak only to officials, he convinced a local to drive him with his camera crew around the city while the looting and vandalizing were happening. He captured film of the unrest that was not being shown elsewhere.

Gil may have been assigned the story because of his skin color, but he had perhaps the most visually accurate report that evening because he wanted the other side of the story as his colleagues settled to do without it. This conviction was the foundation of his reporting that citizens locally and nationally came to trust. For over four decades he remained committed to the task of keeping minority communities informed and covered on his show.

WABC-TV anchor Bill Ritter said to the New York Daily News about his colleague Gil, “his work mirrored a strong belief in justice and civil rights, and in the school of thought that journalists should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Gil never feared seeking the truth, and, more importantly, he never feared speaking it.”

Over his career Gil had several controversies and was accused of not always being impartial on certain issues. But the loyalty he earned from his audience was so strong that protestors would show up in front of the WABC headquarters if there was any reason to suspect that Gil was in trouble.

Gil defended himself against critics in a 2010 interview with the Visionary Project and explained that his primary job was to report the stories of the black community: “…one of the viewers said ‘why don’t you tell the other story? Why do you always just tell one side?’ This is the other side…"Like It Is" has always tried to tell the other side of the story.”

Gil’s work in the field helped to demonstrate the need for more reporters of different races, and also predated the recent growth of mainstream news outlets creating minority focused content. It also showed the importance of television news reflecting its audience and played a role in documenting the ongoing discussion about race in our nation.

In his autobiography “Black Is The Color Of My TV Tube,” he discussed the importance of journalism for minority communities:

“The need for improved news quality is great, and the lack of it falls far most heavily on blacks…The health of the black community is intertwined with the health of good communications. Both community and communication have the same root, and for good reason. If the proper values and information are not communicated, a healthy community cannot exist.”

What is equally remarkable is the very high standard of reporting Gil set. The same way that Walter Cronkite was trusted for his reporting, Gil Noble was respected for his honesty and values. And he did this until he suffered a stroke in July of 2011, ending his 43 year run with his show.

Ed Silverman, former director of news and public affairs at channel 7, recalled to the Daily News how committed Gil was to doing the show:

“I had dinner with him a couple of years ago and I told him I always wondered why he never went beyond 'Like It Is,' because he had the skills to be a national reporter or an anchor. He said he never wanted any of that. He told me, ‘This show is exactly what I want to do.’ ”

Mike Wallace
Myron Leon "Mike" Wallace (1918-2012)



Tenacious and often ferocious reporter rose to international journalistic prominence on "60 Minutes."
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CBS News legend Mike Wallace, the "60 Minutes" pit-bull reporter whose probing, brazen style made his name synonymous with the tough interview - a style he practically invented for television more than half a century ago - died Saturday night. He was 93 and passed peacefully surrounded by family members at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, Conn., where he spent the past few years. He also had a home in Manhattan.

"It is with tremendous sadness that we mark the passing of Mike Wallace. His extraordinary contribution as a broadcaster is immeasurable and he has been a force within the television industry throughout its existence. His loss will be felt by all of us at CBS," said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO, CBS Corporation.

"All of us at CBS News and particularly at '60 Minutes' owe so much to Mike. Without him and his iconic style, there probably wouldn't be a '60 Minutes.' There simply hasn't been another broadcast journalist with that much talent. It almost didn't matter what stories he was covering, you just wanted to hear what he would ask next. Around CBS he was the same infectious, funny and ferocious person as he was on TV. We loved him and we will miss him very much," said Jeff Fager, chairman CBS News and executive producer of "60 Minutes."

Wallace was as famous as the leaders, newsmakers and celebrities who suffered his blistering interrogations, winning awards and a reputation for digging out the hidden truth on Sunday nights in front of an audience that approached 40 million at the broadcast's peak.

Wallace played a huge role in "60 Minutes"' rise to the top of the ratings to become the number-one program of all time, with an unprecedented 23 seasons on the Nielsen annual top 10 list - five as the number-one program.

Besides his 21 Emmy Awards, Wallace was the recipient of five DuPont-Columbia journalism and five Peabody Awards, and was the Paul White Award winner in 1991, the highest honor given by the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award grand prize and television first prize in 1996. In June of 1991, he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

He announced he would step down to become a "correspondent emeritus" in the spring of 2006, but Wallace continued to land big interviews for "60 Minutes." His last appearance on television, on January 6, 2008, was a sit-down on "60 Minutes" with accused steroid user Roger Clemens that made front-page news. His August 2006 interview of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won him his 21st Emmy at the age of 89. He was also granted the first post-prison interview with assisted suicide advocate and convicted killer Dr. Jack Kevorkian for a June 2007 "60 Minutes" broadcast. After a successful triple bypass operation in late January 2008, he retired from public life.

Decades before his "60 Minutes" success, Wallace was already known to millions. In the early days of broadcasting, with no line between news and entertainment, Wallace did both. In the 1940s and '50s, he appeared on a variety of radio and television programs, first as narrator/announcer, then as a reporter, actor and program host.

On his first network television news program, ABC's "The Mike Wallace Interview," he perfected his interviewing style that he first tried on a local New York television guest show called "Night Beat." Created with producer Ted Yates, "Night Beat" became an instant hit that New Yorkers began referring to as "brow beat." Wallace's relentless questioning of his subjects proved to be a compelling alternative to the polite chit-chat practiced by early television hosts.

Years later, CBS News producer Don Hewitt remembered that hard-charging style when creating his pioneering news magazine, "60 Minutes"; he picked Wallace to be a counterweight to the avuncular Harry Reasoner. On September 24, 1968, Wallace and Reasoner introduced "60 Minutes" to the 10:00 p.m. timeslot, where it ran every other Tuesday. It failed to draw large audiences. But critics praised it, awards followed, and after seven years on various nights, "60 Minutes" went to 7:00 p.m. Sunday and began its rise. It made the top 20 in 1977 and the top 10 in 1978, then became the number-one program in 1980 - all with a tough-talking Wallace center stage.

The rising interest in Wallace and "60 Minutes" grew partly out of the Watergate scandal. Wallace's interrogations of John Erlichman, G. Gordon Liddy and H.R. Haldeman whetted the appetites of news junkies who continued to tune in to see Wallace joust with other scoundrels. Before long, he was a household name. In 1983, Coors beer took ads out in major newspapers after Wallace's "60 Minutes" investigation found little truth to rumors the company was racist. "The Four Most Dreaded Words in the English Language: Mike Wallace is Here," ran atop ads boasting that the firm had passed muster with the "grand inquisitor" himself.

Fr. George Papadeas
Rev. George Papadeas (1918-2011)



First Orthodox chaplain of the New York Press Club.
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The Rev. George Papadeas, the first Greek Orthodox man to become ordained in the United States, died Friday at Halifax Health Medical Center, in Port Orange, Florida, at age 93.

Father George was chaplain of the New York Press Club in the 1950's when the Club was known as the New York Metropolitan Newspaper Reporters Association. He was the first Greek Orthodox clergyman to hold that post.

Papadeas, who served his church in a varied and colorful career lasting nearly 70 years, was pastor of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Daytona Beach from 1975 to 1983. From his home in South Daytona in "retirement," he established two more Greek Orthodox churches, in the Inverness and Ocala areas.

He was born on June 5, 1918, in Altoona, Pa.

The year 1942 was momentous for Papadeas. He married Bess Matthews and graduated from the Greek Orthodox Seminary in Pomfret Center, Connecticut. He was ordained a priest in 1945.

Because of his background, he helped bridge the gap between the Greece-based church and its American-born attendees, many of whom were children who didn't learn the Greek language, said his son Tim, a family spokesman.

"He was like a Steve Jobs of religion," Tim Papadeas said. "What Steve Jobs did for Apple, (Fr. George) did for our Greek Orthodox church."

When he was pastor of St. Paul's Parish in Hempstead, N.Y., Papadeas presided over the three Weeping Icons in the early 1960s. He later wrote a book about the experience, which brought much attention and thousands of people through the church to see the Weeping Madonna.

In the 1960s, he translated the Beautiful Orthodox Holy Week Services into English, as well as later completing other important translations. He helped establish a summer camp for American-born Greek Orthodox children in Greece, which in 1970 became the Ionian Village Camp, helping hundreds of people learn about their roots and their faith.

It was at St. Demetrios where he and parishioner Irene Koutouzis started the church's popular Greek Festival, held every November.

In 2004, Bess, his wife of 62 years, died. Together, the Papadeases had five children, nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Papadeas was a man who served his church in eight decades but felt he was the one who was blessed.

"If we believe in divine grace," he said in a 2010 interview, "God comes to people with open hearts."

Gloria Clyne
Gloria Clyne of NBC (1926-2011)



A dear friend of the New York Press Club and former colleague of many.
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Gloria Clyne, the first female page in the history of NBC, died July 20th at her home in Greenwood Lake, New York. She was 85 years old.

Traditionally, NBC pages (guides for visitors) at the network's famed headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Center (nicknamed "30 Rock") were men. But when the guys were drafted during World War II, NBC had no choice but to take on women. Clyne was the first of four "girls" to give guided tours and greet important guests.

Following the war, Gloria Clyne stayed on at NBC, moving up the ladder as a production assistant and a segment producer for Today show weatherman, Al Roker. She retired from the network in 1999, but put on her old page uniform last year and posed outside 30 Rock for a profile that appeared on March 21, 2010, in the New York Post."


Angel Chevrestt, The New York Post

Clyne told the newspaper: "It feels good to be a page again. This jacket certainly fits. I never got rich, but it was a priceless experience. I spent my life there.”

The NBC page program began in 1933. It's said that more than 7,000 people apply. Among the requirements are a college degree and "related broadcast experience." Only 60 to 80 pages are chosen each year, and most go on to careers in broadcasting.

Among notables who were once NBC pages: Steve Allen, Kate Jackson, former Disney chairman Michael Eisner, game show creator Chuck Barris, "Captain Kangaroo" Bob Keeshan, newsman Ted Koppel, actor/singer Gordon MacRae, personalities Regis Philbin and Gene Rayburn, actress Eva Marie Saint, and longtime Today weatherman, Willard Scott.

Tributes to Gloria's big heart and generous spirit have been plentiful in the days following her passing. New York Press Club governor Phil O'Brien worked with Gloria at NBC for a number of years and shares these recollections:

"I'll always remember some stories she would tell. Like the time in the 1940s when she and a co-worker were leaving 30 Rock to go home in the evening. It was shortly before Christmas. As they walked into the plaza, her friend turned to Gloria and said "Look, there's the man who lights the Christmas tree." They stopped walking and from just yards away watched the big tree light up. Today, of course, tens of thousands pack the plaza for hours for a glimpse of the tree lighting.

Another time also shortly after Word War II, a man with a clipboard came into the work area where Gloria was assigned and asked everybody for their attention. "I have an announcement. Everyone on this floor will be relocated to [a different] floor in order to make room for NBC's new project...." And then, Gloria said, the man sort of stumbled over the next word. "Tele...telev..television!"

On her 50th anniversary at NBC, Gloria was invited as a guest on Live at 5. Anchor Sue Simmons asked Gloria what she thought was her greatest accomplishment. Gloria's answer came quick. She did not talk about the many stories she produced, wrote and researched in New York, across the country or even in places like Vietnam. Gloria unhesitatingly quipped: "The day I won equal pay from this network!"

Tributes are plentiful from other individuals whom Gloria tutored and mentored at NBC:

July 24, 2011
I know your reading this somewhere. I can't express how lucky I am to have known you, loved you and been loved by you. I will emulate your spirit and joy for the rest of my life and I can only hope to be one tenth of the inspiration to others that you have been. A great light flicker and died and we are all deminished by your passing.
Kitte Tuckfelt, Munhall, Pennsylvania

July 23, 2011
Gloria was the heart and soul of NBC. The life lessons she taught to hundreds, if not thousands, will never be forgotten. Funny, thoughtful, wise, brilliant, and a great story teller - Gloria was a GIFT to us....plain and simple. I will miss her terribly, but grateful I can say I knew her. God Bless you, Gloria Clyne.
Ann Guaglione (Dorrian), Commack, New York

July 22, 2011
Gloria put a smile on your face even if you didn't want to smile. The life of the party & the party was life itself. A wonderful teacher, (I interned under her in the early 80's) a friend and being one of her "kids" was a priviledge. I will miss your joy for living, but you will continue to inspire me throughout life. Rest in Peace Dear Friend. Love you always & forever.
Mark Mirsky, Oceanside, New York
Bill Gallo
Bill Gallo of the New York Daily News
(1922-2011)



The prolific, playful hand that brought to life cartoon characters Basement Bertha, Yuchie and General Von Steingrabber has been stilled.
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The New York Press Club was thrilled when Bill Gallo agreed to create a cover for the 2010 edition of the Club's Byline Magazine. It was in 2010 that the Press Club presented Gallo with its President's Award for lifetime achievment. The cover and several other drawings created for the magazine by Bill are included throughout this obituary from the New York Daily News.

Bill Gallo, sports cartoonist at the Daily News for more than half a century and whose career at the paper spanned 70 years, died of complications from pneumonia at 88 in White Plains Hospital late last night. His passing marks the close of what seemed always to be an endless supply of ink and fun in the pages of The News. Inside our building, Gallo would walk around the big newsroom talking sports, bouncing ideas off coworkers or showing off his latest, comical work to everyone's delight.

"My father is a lasting legend to New York, and to New York sports," said Gallo's son Greg. "He will be forever thought of as a great cartoonist for the Daily News, but he will also be remembered as the gentleman he was to all the people he came across, everybody in the streets of the city. People loved him because he was a special human being."

In recent months, while he fought off emphysema and a series of medical setbacks, Gallo continued to draw his cartoons and write columns from hospital beds and his home, surrounded by trays of colored pencils and erasers, dark pens and paint brushes sticking out of a Dixie cup. He would send his creations by overnight mail or ask a coworker to bring them to the office, checking in often by phone with editors.

"I'm just as enthusiastic about work today as I've ever been," Gallo said shortly before his death. "If I wasn't sick I'd be putting out some great stuff."

His last cartoon was just fine, appearing in the News on Tuesday, April 19. Appropriately enough, it featured the beloved Bertha, who was shown window shopping for a wardrobe while hoping expecting, even to receive an invitation to the royal wedding in London.

"The passing of our great cartoonist, colleague and friend Bill Gallo marks the end of an era,'' said Daily News Chairman & Publisher Mortimer B. Zuckerman. "From the time he arrived at the Daily News as a fresh-faced kid determined to make his mark in the city and the world, to the very end when he battled his final illness with grit, courage and grace - rarely skipping a cartoon or a column - Bill was a class act."

Gallo was an entrenched New York institution, yet somehow always remained vibrant and topical.

His drawings grace both a midtown art gallery and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Although Gallo was known to most as the creator of his daily sports cartoon, he was also many other things during his long life: war hero, artist, family man, writer and boxing expert.

"Bill Gallo was a great artist but an even greater guy," said Daily News Editor in Chief Kevin R. Convey. "He had an eye for the humor and absurdity of life, a knack for capturing the city and its characters and a heart as big as the place he called home. We'll miss him terribly, and we'll never forget him. Our hearts go out to his family and friends."

His friends came from all walks of life, ranging from Muhammad Ali to New York police commissioner Ray Kelly. Gallo made time for peers, athletes, officials and fans, appearing at innumerable charitable events. He juggled many art and book projects, well into his 80s. He could hold court at any city tavern or ballroom with tales of sports events from a bygone era.

"I can't imagine the Daily News without Bill," said Teri Thompson, managing editor for sports. "It was an incredible honor to work with someone who so loved our business, and could take you back to Joe DiMaggio and Joe Louis in one moment and to Tiger Woods and Carmelo Anthony the next, all with a smile and a flick of the pen."

Gallo came to newspapering naturally. He was born in Manhattan on Dec. 28, 1922, the son of Frank and Henrietta Gallo. His father had immigrated to America from Spain and worked for La Prensa, before dying at 36 of pneumonia when Bill was only 11. That tragedy marked Gallo in many ways, as he vowed to follow his dad's footsteps into the business.

Gallo studied art in high school and eventually landed a job as a copy boy at The News. "I did everything except sweep the floor, and I did that too," Gallo said.

He joined the Marine Corps during World War II, fighting with the Fourth Division in Roi-Namur, Tinian and Iwo Jima.

"He was an all-around superhero, an American hero," said Kelly, who met Gallo nearly 30 years ago at an event for Marine veterans and remained his close friend. "There were 25,000 American lives lost at Iwo Jima, and Bill survived to become this man of amazing energy."

He returned after four years to The News as a picture clerk, while enrolling under the GI Bill at Columbia University and what later became the School of Visual Arts. He worked days, attended classes at night.

In 1950, he married Dolores Rodriguez and became a full-time artist at the News. He was generously shown the ropes by sports cartoonist Leo O'Mealia. Gallo's first published cartoon in The News was of the boxer Kid Gavilan, which so impressed sports editor Charlie Hoerter that it was used in place of an action photograph.

After O'Mealia died in 1960, Gallo was promoted to the sports cartoonist's post he held until his death. The job was challenging, from the start. He was assigned to illustrate the Yankees-Pirates World Series that year, which see-sawed back and forth until Bill Mazeroski's homer in the ninth inning of Game 7.

"I had to change the feature part of that cartoon three times before Mazeroski ended it - and almost me," Gallo told The Sporting News in 1961.

While Gallo enjoyed chronicling the successes of the Yankees, he always seemed to have a greater affinity for the poor sufferers of the world, such as the early Mets. He loved Casey Stengel, and invented Basement Bertha to represent a faithful, distressed supporter. His kid character, Yuchie, also demonstrated great empathy for losers.

Over the years, Gallo would create nearly as many regular characters as he received awards. Those lampooned including George Steinbrenner himself never seemed to mind, even considering such treatment an honor. Gallo's work could also elicit aching emotion, as he did with the cartoon showing Thurman Munson up in heaven.

"No matter who came into the office, no matter what walk of life, Bill would take the time to talk to him and help him," said Delores Thompson, assistant to the sports editor. "On many occasions, he would draw cartoons or portraits of visitors or their kids."

He'd get his ideas from everywhere, and quite often from conversations he overheard on the train while commuting to work from his home in Yonkers. Once he had it figured out, Gallo would require only minutes to visualize and then pen or brush a fresh cartoon on his art board.

"I've enjoyed Bill's work since I was a boy growing up in New Jersey, reading the Daily News every day," said Rick Stromoski, creator of the comic, "Soup to Nutz" and a past president of the National Cartoonists Society. "He was an inspiration as well as a mentor as I got to know him personally. He was a great cartoonist and an even better friend, a class act all the way."

Other cartoonists appreciated him greatly. He received the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society in 1998. He was awarded the Page One Journalism Award 20 times, along with an achievement award for alumni from the School of Visual Arts.

As a columnist on his favorite sport, Gallo received the James J. Walker Award from the Boxing Writers Association and the Champions Award from the Downtown Athletic Club. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He wrote movingly last year of his experiences in the Pacific and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

There were honors, banquets and ceremonies. Gallo always reveled in the company and the stories, feeling right at home in the city's melting pot, an expression he loved and lived.

"Because there's where the strength is," he said in his last interview, conducted on the same day he entered the hospital for the last time. "Right there lies the essence."

"Nobody was quite sure what that name, 'Gallo,' was … Italian, Irish, Puerto Rican?" Sugar said. "So all ethnic groups wanted to honor him and he accepted honors from everybody, never turned one down."

Gallo continued working prodigiously, well past conventional retirement age, always searching for new outlets for his talents.


Bill Gallo cover for New York Press Club's 2010 Byline Magazine
"He had a tremendous work ethic, maybe because he was a Depression Era kid," said Phil Cornell, a News features editor who worked with Gallo on his 2000 book, "Drawing a Crowd: Bill Gallo's Greatest Sports Moments."

"He was always kicking around ideas," Cornell said. "The early death of his father was a defining event for him. He became the man of the house, and that had a profound effect on him."

Gallo wrote of that event in a 2005 column, "This One's for You, Dad":

"For years, after his 11th birthday, the boy's heart ached every Father's Day," he wrote. "The boy was this writer and I'll try not to make this a sad song. It's a song of struggles, survival and triumphs. It's about my father, a newspaperman who died much before his time."

Perhaps that's why Gallo drew countless wedding invitations and marriage proposals and birthday cards for the members of the Daily News staff and for his family and friends. He was honored to be asked, and one of his last drawings was for his granddaughter, Amy.

"Our daughter is getting married in September and he so wanted to make it to that day," said Greg Gallo. "He did a sketch for her for the wedding and he told her, 'I hope I make it, Amy.'"

Bill Gallo is survived by his wife, Dolores; his son, Greg, the former sports editor at the Post; his son, Bill Jr., director of racing for the National Steeplechase Association in Maryland; a brother, Henry; and four granddaughters, Stephanie, Amy, Marianna and Isabella and a great granddaughter, Alexa Rose.

Plus, of course, Basement Bertha and Yuchie.
Theodore Kheel
Theodore Kheel, Master Mediator
(1914-2010)



Ted Kheel was a renaissance man. He tackled and solved many major labor disputes with his calm, constructive approach. He was a voice of reason, a man who could make even the angriest foes laugh and find common ground.
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He was a master mediator. He was also was a highly successful real estate investor. He loved art and artists -- and helped them in their careers. He was an environmentalist and philanthropist.

I saw Ted Kheel in action for five decades. I witnessed the effectiveness of his skills. I saw leaders of management and labor succumb to his charm. For Ted was more than a skillful lawyer and a good negotiator. He loved people. And, in the searing labor disputes that threatened New York and the nation during his amazing career, his was the calm voice that never gave up, the soothing voice of moderation and peace.

With Ted, who died last Friday, I bent my own rule of never becoming too close to a source. Ted and I became good friends. He was my lawyer for 40 years. I shall miss his warmth and his generosity of spirit.

When New York was paralyzed by a transit strike in the first week of January 1966, Mike Quill, leader of the Transport Workers Union, became the pariah of New York. As New Yorkers walked to work, they had this vision of Quill [as described by the new mayor, John Lindsay] as the villain of this affair. Kheel never went along with that image. He treated both Quill and the leader of transit management, Joe O’Grady, as friends. They responded eventually to his gentle prodding and, after Quill and other union leaders were jailed, the strike was finally settled.

The three of them in the beginning of the strike were in a royal suite on the top floor of the Americana Hotel (now the Sheraton) and, although he never betrayed anyone, Kheel would occasionally fill me in on the personalities of the participants and how they related to each other. I learned that Quill in the confines of that suite was perfectly affable. But, every now and then, when he emerged. he would wave his cane and, to reporters, denounce the powers that be and particularly the Mayor, whose name Quill deliberately mis-pronounced as “Lindsley.”

“Mike is wonderful. He’s some character,” Kheel told me. The mediator truly had an affection for each of the warring parties. He thought Joe O”Grady, the management person, was great too, in his solemn, cautious way.

Over the years, in addition to the subway and bus strike, Kheel helped end strikes involving New York’s newspapers and teachers. Mayor Wagner asked Kheel for help in ending the 114-day newspaper strike of 1962-3 and President Lyndon Johnson turned to Kheel in 1964 to prevent a nationwide rail strike.

The New York Times said that Kheel has been called “the most influential peacemaker in New York City in the last half century” and the “master locksmith of deadlock bargaining.” And it was estimated that, as this city’s leading mediator and arbitrator, he had helped solved 30,000 disputes.

He loved people and he loved good food. He was a connosieur of wines. He even kept a cache of his favorite wines in the Windows on the World restaurant on the top of the World Trade Center.

There was irony in that because Kheel had bitterly opposed the Port Authority when it went into the real estate business. He didn’t think it should ever have built the World Trade Center or the restaurant. But, once the restaurant was built, he thought it was a good idea to keep his wines there. In a wisecrack that was eerily prophetic, he said to me one day: “I like the restaurant. They should tear down the rest of the building and just leave the restaurant.”

Kheel was a philanthropist. He heavily endowed several groups, including the Earth Pledge Foundation, which worked for environmental progress. He had a magic touch for real estate projects. Thus, he purchased several hundred acres of land in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic and, with a Dominican partner, transformed this slice of the jungle into a great hotel, with two golf courses and numerous restaurants.

But, at the same time, he set up a laboratory at the hotel complex to study tropical plants and diseases. He did this in cooperation with Cornell University, his alma mater, which he supported generously over the many decades of his life.

Ted Kheel was a persistent man. Thus, after trying for many years to help his artist friend, Cristo, win approval to put The Gates into Central Park, he finally succeeded when Mayor Bloomberg said yes. In February, 2005, gates were set up in the park, hung with panels of orange-colored nylon fabric. It was the dead of winter but New Yorkers thronged to the park by the thousands to welcome enthusiastically this winter spectacle.

Kheel failed to achieve his last big goal: making New York’s subways and buses free. He commissioned a study by experts that showed, if fares were removed from subways and buses, the city would not lose revenue. It would gain money because traffic congestion would diminish and business would improve. He tried to sell this idea for the last few years. But politicians and transit experts didn’t buy it.

Ted Kheel was a patient man. He believed that, ultimately, the city would accept his proposal. He favored Bloomberg’s idea of congestion pricing -- charging motorists for entering the city -- provided that was coupled with free mass transit.

“I think,” Kheel said, “that this is something New Yorkers will come to appreciate when they think about it and how good it will be for working people and for people who drive, because there’ll be more using mass transit.”

Was this realistic or was Ted Kheel being Don Quixote, dreaming an impossible dream? Ted told me: “Nothing is impossible. This is a great city and ultimately, we’ll do what has to be done.”

He was 96 years old. And that could be his epitaph: “Nothing is impossible.”
Harold Dow
Harold Dow, CBS Correspondent, Dies at 62



CBS News officials said Sunday they were saddened and stunned by the death of Harold Dow, a long-time correspondent on "48 Hours" who broke ground for black broadcasters and won a sheaf of awards for covering major stories.
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Dow died Saturday in New Jersey after checking himself into a hospital days earlier with severe asthma symptoms, a family spokeswoman said. He was 62.

"I deeply miss him already," said "48 Hours Mystery" executive producer Susan Zirinsky. "He was the most selfless man I have known. It was his humanity, which was felt by everyone he encountered, even in his toughest interviews, that truly defined the greatness of his work."

An inhaler was found on the floor of his car after he checked himself into a Ridgewood hospital on Monday, leading relatives to suspect he had an asthma attack while driving, the spokeswoman said.

Dow's "48 Hours" colleague Peter Van Sent said Sunday that Dow had recently announced his semi-retirement, though he was planning to do several reports in the upcoming season.

"Harold could do it all," wrote Van Sent. "His range left me in awe. Harold could talk to anyone from Presidents to pimps, rock stars and accused murderers. He was the kind of man who could make you feel in minutes like you'd known him for year."

A native of Hackensack, Dow was known off-camera as an enthusiastic colleague with a flair for personal style.

After attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he landed a job as the first black TV reporter in Omaha, where he became a co-anchor and talk show host at KETV.

He started with CBS News in 1972 and spent a decade in Los Angeles before moving back to the New York area as coanchor of "CBS News Nightwatch" in 1982.

He went on to become a correspondent for "The CBS Nightly News," "Sunday Morning" and the legal magazine "Verdict."

He was a correspondent on the 1986 special "48 Hours on Crack Street" that led to the creation of the single-topic weekly newsmagazine. He contributed to the first "48 Hours" broadcast in January 1988 and became a full-time correspondent there in 1990.

His prominent early stories included the return of U.S. POWs from Vietnam and the Patty Hearst kidnapping, which included an interview with Hearst in 1976.

He later covered the Lockerbie bombing, the war in Bosnia, the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and the O.J. Simpson case.

He won five Emmys and a Peabody Award for a report on runaways. He was recently recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists for his report about Medgar Evers, which was featured in the CBS News special "Change and Challenge: The Inauguration of Barack Obama."

"The CBS News family has lost one of its oldest and most talented members," said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports. "His absence will be felt by many and his on-air presence and reporting skills touched nearly all of our broadcasts."
Vic Ziegel
Vic Ziegel, Longtime Daily News Sports Fixture, Passes at 72



Renowned New York Daily News newspaperman Vic Ziegel died peacefully Friday morning at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. The cause was lung cancer. He was 72.
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An award-winning sportswriter who covered Muhammad Ali and the earliest Mets teams, Ziegel was also a beloved editor who helped millions of New Yorkers keep their fingers on the pulse of the city's vibrant sports world.

"Vic was a wonderful writer and a tremendous colleague," said Daily News Editor-in-Chief & Deputy Publisher Martin Dunn. "He totally understood the Daily News sports reader, and his columns brought sports alive for them. The sports world will miss him."

Ziegel grew up just off the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, and although he spent his boyhood playing stickball not far from Yankee Stadium, he was the most ardent of Giants fans. In honor of Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in 1951, he taught his pet bird to recite, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Roberta; his daughter, Katy; and his sister, Shelly Goldfeder of New Rochelle.

"Vic was a beloved colleague to all of us on the Daily News sports staff. His brilliant sense of humor, unique voice and elegant style made him among the best newspapermen in American journalism," said Daily News managing editor for sports Teri Thompson. "He was an inspiration to everyone he worked with."

Although he was not a smoker, Ziegel learned he had lung cancer in November, and spent his last weeks receiving well-wishes from a long line of friends who recalled his passion for movies, jazz, sports and family.

Victor Ziegel was born in New York City on Aug. 16, 1937. He attended Yeshiva Salanter in the Bronx, Taft High School and City College, where he first began to indulge in his joy of being around newspapers. Soon he was writing about high school basketball for the now-defunct Long Island Press.

Ziegel was soon hired by the New York Post, where he worked as a night sports editor, a baseball beat writer and a columnist until 1976, when he left to pursue a series of journalism projects that included columns for Rolling Stone, New York magazine and Inside Sports, and the creation of a television series based on Jim Bouton's book "Ball Four."

In 1985, Ziegel became the executive sports editor at the Daily News, and remained at the paper for 25 years, becoming a sports columnist. For a time he wrote a column for the city side of the newspaper called "Helluva Town."

"It was really cool," said Ziegel's wife, Roberta. "It was about unusual people in the city, like the man who changes the light bulbs in the Statue of Liberty, or the one-legged bicycle messenger. He was a great storyteller."

Among the numerous awards Ziegel won were the Red Smith Kentucky Derby Award, in 1992 and 1998, and the Nat Fleischer Award for boxing writing in 1983. A member of the Jersey Jazz Society for 20 years, he also belonged to Young Israel of New Rochelle.

"I loved Vic Ziegel. I really loved him. He'd tell you a lot of good stories," horse trainer Nick Zito said Friday at Saratoga. "I remember him telling of the time he interviewed Mike Tyson at the Indiana prison. He was a New York guy. I enjoyed being around him. I miss him. I'm sorry for his family and the Daily News."
Joseph Dembo
Former CBS News Executive Joe Dembo (1927-2010)



Joseph Dembo, the CBS Radio executive and news correspondent who transformed WCBS Radio in New York City from a struggling station into the all-news format it still successfully broadcasts today, died this morning in Manhattan, where he had lived for many years.
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In a 28-year career at CBS, he played several prominent roles in radio and television, including as anchorman of the CBS Radio Network's "News-on-the-Hour" national broadcasts in the late 1970s. He also was the executive producer of "The CBS Morning News" network television broadcast from 1974 to 1976 and ran CBS News bureaus in Rome and Athens from 1971 to 1974.

All-news radio was a fledgling format in the early 1960s. The first models failed and there were just a couple of stations in the U.S. when, in 1967, CBS Chairman William Paley decided to make WCBS, his also-ran flagship radio station, an all-news outlet.

He picked a hard-news veteran to do it. Dembo had been running the network's radio news operation as its director, having been brought to the network after stints as news director and executive producer at WCBS Radio, where he initiated the "Up-to-the-Minute" news concept. He had additional hard-news experience from his time at NBC in the 1950s as a producer and reporter for the network and its local television station, WNBC-TV.

Dembo was put in charge of WCBS Radio as its vice president and general manager and assembled a team that included anchors Charles Osgood, Lou Adler, Steve Porter, Jim Harriot and Robert Vaughn, street reporters Ed Bradley and Steve Flanders and sportscaster Pat Summerall. He also hired a future president of CBS News, Ed Joyce, to be his news director.

By 1970, the transformation was complete. WCBS was broadcasting news all the time and, before long, six more CBS Radio station in major markets switched to the successful and durable formula in which CBS Radio remains the national leader to this today.

Returning to the radio network as bureau chief and correspondent, Dembo reported for the CBS News radio documentary series "Newsmark," in addition to his daily "News-on-the-Hour" duties for the CBS Radio Network, a job he held until November 1978. He was then named executive editor for hard-news broadcasts for the CBS Radio Network. He picked up the added title of news director before being made a network vice president in charge of all of CBS Radio in 1982.

Dembo left CBS in 1988 and joined the faculty of Fordham University, where, until just last year, he was a professor of media studies teaching courses on journalistic ethics, the history of radio and television journalism and a class on the Edward R. Murrow era at CBS.

"I've known Joe Dembo as a boss, mentor and good friend for four decades now," said Charles Osgood, anchor of the CBS Radio Network and television's SUNDAY MORNING.

"It's fitting that he spent his last years as a professor at my alma mater, Fordham. Even as a producer and executive Joe was always a great teacher. He certainly taught me a lot."

Joseph T. Dembo was born in Vienna, Austria, and emigrated to the U.S. as a child. He grew up in New Brunswick, N.J., where he was graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Letters degree in journalism in 1950. He entered broadcasting in 1952 at NBC in New York, where his assignments included Central News Desk supervisor, feature reporter-producer of "Esso Reporter" on WNBC-TV.

He is survived by his wife, Margot and three children, Wendy, David and Robert and grandchildren Elly and Jesse.
Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite (1916-2009)



Walter Cronkite was the former CBS Evening News anchorman, whose commentary defined issues and events in America for almost two decades.
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Cronkite, whom a major poll once named the "most trusted figure" in American public life, often saw every nuance in his nightly newscasts scrutinized by politicians, intellectuals, and fellow journalists for clues to the thinking of mainstream America. In contrast, Cronkite viewed himself as a working journalist, epitomized by his title of "managing editor," of the CBS Evening News. His credo, adopted from his days as a wire service reporter, was to get the story, "fast, accurate, and unbiased"; his trademark exit line was, "And that's the way it is."

After working at a public relations firm, for newspapers, and in small radio stations throughout the Midwest, in l939 Cronkite joined United Press (UP) to cover World War II. There, as part of what reporters fondly called the "Writing 69th," he went ashore on D-Day, parachuted with the l0lst Airborne, flew bombing mission over Germany, covered the Nuremburg trials, and opened the UP's first post-war Moscow bureau.

Though he had earlier rejected an offer from Edward R. Murrow, Cronkite joined CBS in 1950. First at CBS's Washington affiliate and then over the national network, Cronkite paid his dues to the entertainment side of television, serving as host of the early CBS historical recreation series, "You Are There." He even briefly co-hosted the CBS Morning Show with the puppet Charlemagne. In a more serious vein he narrated the CBS documentary series "Twentieth Century." Earlier, Cronkite had impressed many observers when he anchored CBS's coverage of the l952 presidential nominating conventions.

In April l962, Cronkite took over the anchorman's position from Douglas Edwards on the CBS Evening News. Less than a year later the program was expanded from fifteen to thirty minutes. It was also ironic that Cronkite's first thirty minute newscast included an exclusive interview with President John F. Kennedy. Barely two months later Cronkite was first on the air reporting Kennedy's assassination, and in one of the rare instances when his journalist objectivity deserted him, he shed tears.

Cronkite's rise at CBS was briefly interrupted in l964 when the network, disturbed by the ratings beating CBS News was taking from NBC's Huntley and Brinkley, decided to replace him as anchor at the l964 presidential nominating conventions with the team of Robert Trout and Roger Mudd. Publically accepting the change, but privately disturbed, Cronkite contemplated leaving CBS. However, over ll,000 letters protesting the change undoubtedly helped convince both Cronkite and CBS executives that he should stay on. In l966, Cronkite briefly overtook the Huntley-Brinkley Report in the ratings, and in l967, took the lead. From that time until his retirement, The CBS Evening News was the ratings leader.

Initially, Cronkite was something of a hawk on the Vietnam War, although his program did broadcast controversial segments such as Morley Safer's famous "Zippo lighter" report. However, returning from Vietnam after the Tet offensive Cronkite addressed his massive audience with a different perspective. "It seems now more certain than ever," he said, "that the bloody experience of Vietnam is a stalemate." He then urged the government to open negotiations with the North Vietnamese. Many observers, including presidential aide Bill Moyers, speculated that this was a major factor contributing to President Lyndon B. Johnson's decision to offer to negotiate with the enemy and not to run for President in l968.

A year later Cronkite was one of the foremost boosters of America's technological prowess, anchoring the flight of Apollo XI. Again his vaunted objectivity momentarily left him as he shouted, "Go, Baby, Go," when the mission rocketed into space. For some time Cronkite had seen the space story as one of the most important events of the future, and his coverage of the space shots was as long on information as it was on his famed endurance. In what critics referred to as "Walter to Walter coverage," Cronkite was on the air for 27 of the 30 hours that Apollo XI took to complete its mission.

By the same token, Cronkite never stinted on coverage of the Watergate Scandal and subsequent hearings. In l972, following on the heels of the Washington Post's "Watergate" revelations the CBS Evening News presented a 22 minute, two-part overview of "Watergate" generally credited with keeping the issue alive and making it intelligible to most Americans.

Cronkite could also influence foreign diplomacy, as evidenced in a l977 interview with Eygptian President Anwar El-Sadat, in which he asked Sadat if he would go to Jerusalem to confer with the Israelis. A day after Sadat agreed to such a visit an the invitation came from Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. It was a step that would eventually pave the way for the Camp David accords and an Israeli-Eygptian Peace treaty.

Many criticized him for his refusal to take more risks in TV news coverage. Others felt that his credibility and prestige had greater impact because of his judicious display of those qualities. Similarly, Cronkite was critized because of his preference for short "breaking stories," many of them originating from CBS News' Washington bureau, rather than longer "Enterprisers," which might deal with long range and non-Washington stories. In addition, many felt that Conkite's demand for center stage--an average of six minutes out of the 22 minutes on an evening newscast focused on him--took time away from in-depth coverage of the news. Some referred to this time in the spotlight as "the magic."

In l981, in accord with CBS policy, Cronkite retired. Since then, however, he has hardly been inactive. Indeed, his New Years Eve hosting of PBS's broadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic has become as much a New Years Eve tradition as the dropping of the ball in Times Square. He has also hosted PBS documentaries on health, old age and poor children. In l993 he signed a contract with the Discovery and Learning Channel to do 36 documentaries in three years.

Cronkite's legacy of separating reporting from advocacy has become the norm in television news. In addition, his name has become virtually synonymous with the position of news anchor worldwide--Swedish anchors are known as Kronkiters, and in Holland they are Cronkiters.

Walter Cronkite died in New York on July 17, 2009. He was 92.
Rhoda Amon
Newsday's Rhoda Amon, 85



Rhoda Amon, a globe-trotting reporter who wrote about social trends and chronicled the lives of ordinary Long Islanders with passion and precision in 42 years at Newsday, died Saturday, October 25th, 2008, at her home in Port Washington, Long Island.
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Amon, 85, completed her final story for Newsday last week. She died of complications from breast cancer, diagnosed four years earlier.

An unassuming woman with a tireless work ethic, Amon juggled motherhood and career at a time when newsrooms were dominated by men and fought for equal treatment of women at Newsday.

Rising from the pink-collar ghetto of the "women's pages" to become an accomplished feature reporter, Amon interviewed first ladies; wrote about seismic cultural shifts such as feminism and divorce; and shone a light on poverty on Long Island through her coverage of local nonprofits.

"Rhoda wrote with care about matters of supreme importance to our readers," said Newsday editor John Mancini. Praising the "everyday elegance" of her writing, he said, "We will miss her stalwart presence in the newsroom and Long Islanders will miss her unwavering dedication to her craft."

Empathetic but never a pushover, Amon pursued stories with unflappable discipline and fairness. Those who knew her said she was uncowed by the fame of some of her interview subjects, among them 20th century notables such as Rosalynn Carter, Mike Wallace and Rep. Barbara Jordan.

"It was never about the important people, it was always about the ordinary people," said longtime friend Amy Hagedorn of the Hagedorn Foundation, a Port Washington philanthropic group that promotes social equity.

Amon was known among her colleagues as a professional, graceful writer who spent hours on the phone making sure her stories were accurate down to the last detail. "She had a touch," said Harvey Aronson, a former senior Newsday editor. "There is a spark that you can't teach."

She passed her love of reporting on to her grandson, Michael Amon, now a reporter at Newsday.

"She was my inspiration," said Amon, 29, of Woodside, Queens. "Up until the day she died, I was asking her advice on stories. She was very much a fierce defender of her words and the importance of the things she was writing about."

The daughter of a house painter from Lithuania, Amon was born in Newark in 1923 and grew up in Maplewood, N.J. She attended Upsala College in East Orange and New York University, and broke into journalism during World War II as a stringer for Newark Star, writing about soldiers returning home from combat. In 1950 she married Robert Amon, a journalist and maritime historian who also served as a press aide to New York City Mayor Abe Beame. The couple lived in Oceanside and Baldwin before settling with their children, Robert and Amelia, into an airy, hilltop home in Port Washington.

Her husband encouraged her writing, said Amelia Amon, 52, of Manhattan. "My mother and father used to edit each other's work," she said. "I remember them sitting on the couch, just crossing words out and penciling things in. . . . Late at night there would be the tap, tap, tapping of the typewriter."

Amon worked for the Long Island Press for a decade before she was hired at Newsday in 1966, where she wrote about fashion, family and parenting. But she and other female reporters chafed at the limits of their assignments, and the fact that they earned less than their male colleagues.

Their complaints led to a federal discrimination lawsuit that resulted in changes to Newsday's hiring practices. "We all put our jobs on the line, and she was with us every step of the way," said friend Marilyn Goldstein, a former Newsday columnist and reporter.

Amon balanced her love of Long Island with a wanderlust that led to travels across Europe and the Soviet Union - trips she shared with readers of Newsday's travel section. Amon continued traveling after her husband's death in 1992, visiting Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Africa and Australia, and wrote a travel column for seniors that ran in hundreds of newspapers. She also taught journalism at Long Island University's C.W. Post campus in Brookville for a number of years.

"She was low-key, never a showoff," said former Newsday editor Howard Schneider. "She just came to work every day for 40 years and did her job. And she made a major contribution to Newsday and to Long Island."
Hugh Mulligan
AP Reporter Hugh Mulligan Dies at 83



Hugh A. Mulligan, who in a half-century with The Associated Press covered everyone from presidents and popes to astronauts and combat soldiers, reporting the news in eloquently crafted, fact-packed dispatches laced with wry humor and humanistic touches, died Wednesday. He was 83.
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Mulligan died at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn., his brother John Mulligan said. He had been recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, according to his family.

Tom Curley, president of The AP, called Hugh Mulligan "a legendary storyteller. His wit was as penetrating as his humor was revealing. He was a friend and mentor to many at AP around the world. He will be missed immensely."

Insatiably curious and able to find story potential in almost anything, Mulligan roamed the globe, visiting nearly 150 countries from Europe to equatorial Africa to Tibet. He made 28 trips with the pope and covered more than half a dozen wars, including three reporting tours in Vietnam.

In 1970 stories about war's sudden impact on Cambodia, he described a novice army that "rode to war on Pepsi-Cola trucks" and the naive courage of a young soldier who "walked down the road carrying the big red and blue flag, and came home in a body bag."

In Mulligan's words, the riverboat Delta Queen wasn't just plying the Mississippi, she was "spinning rainbows from her stern wheel." The streets of Saigon before the war were "a whisper of bicycles."

Visiting the biblical city of Sodom, he found the modern-day version "without sin," although "one might see a Bedouin three sheets to the wind" in a sandstorm.

"Hugh's beat was mankind," former AP President Louis D. Boccardi said. "He had a love affair with the world, and we of the AP loved him for it. There won't be, there can't be, another Hugh Mulligan."

Born in New York City on March 23, 1925, Hugh Aloysius Mulligan served in World War II as a rifleman in the Army's 106th Infantry Division, after that unit was decimated in the 1944 Battle of the Bulge. After the war he completed a bachelor of arts degree at Vermont's new Marlboro College and was the only member of its first graduating class in 1948, addressed at commencement by poet Robert Frost. He later earned simultaneous degrees — journalism at Boston University and a master's in English literature at Harvard — and taught Greek and Latin at Boston Latin prep school.

Mulligan joined AP in December 1951 in Baton Rouge, La., and after 1956 was based in New York, except for a 1970s stint in London. He retired in 2000.

Having studied early for the priesthood, Mulligan was more than prepared for his favorite assignments — trips with Pope John Paul II. Meeting the pontiff for the first time, he was so nervous that he dropped a bag of rosaries. But the pope blessed them, "even the broken ones," Mulligan wrote later.

Colleagues joked that Mulligan could find a way to mention the Catholic church in any story, no matter the subject. He said the first person he visited in any new place was the local priest, because "they always know what's going on."

In all, Mulligan visited 146 countries on assignments that included wars in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Ireland, Cyprus, Angola and the secessionist Nigerian region of Biafra. He covered President John F. Kennedy's Cold War visit to the Berlin Wall in 1963 and was there again in 1989 when the wall was torn down.

He wrote about space shots and political conventions and was in a blimp overhead when a nuclear submarine flashed its historic message from the North Pole: "Nautilus 90 degrees north."

During the October 1973 war between Israel and Egypt, he was the only American correspondent with Maj. Gen. Ariel Sharon's surprise tank counterattack across the Suez Canal.

Among those he interviewed were Marilyn Monroe, Margaret Thatcher, the shah of Iran, John Glenn, Joe DiMaggio — during a baseball game in Rome — and a bevy of writers including Brendan Behan, Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck and James Jones.

He went to Ireland with presidents Kennedy and Ronald Reagan and to China and Russia with Richard Nixon, toured with jazz great Louis Armstrong and comedian Bob Hope, carried a spear at the Metropolitan Opera and rode a camel caravan in Oman.

He covered the royal wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 by invitation and her funeral 16 years later. The princess, he wrote, "seems destined ... to enter the elysian fields of eternal celebrity that already enshrines Marilyn, Jackie O and Elvis."

In a quest to report from the planet's most remote datelines, he visited the south Atlantic island of Tristan de Cunha, which claims to be the point on earth farthest from any other land, and finally made it to Antarctica in 2004.

Competing with AP colleagues in New York for choice feature assignments, Mulligan drew the short straw — a weekend in a Pennsylvania nudist colony. "Oh, great," his hostess-to-be said by phone. "You'll be here in time for the square dance." Mulligan later described her as "5-feet-2 in any direction and barefoot all the way up to her harlequin sunglasses" and said the July 4 barbecue was "about the same as any other place except that people tend to stand a little further away from the fire."

Though celebrated most for feature writing, Mulligan was proudest of his war reporting, especially his three years in Vietnam and one in Cambodia. He rode on a helicopter mission to rescue a downed Navy pilot in North Vietnam and was one of three AP staffers covering the last American POW release in Hanoi in March 1973.

Among his favorite Vietnam stories, Mulligan said, was one that consisted of a single paragraph:

"SAIGON (AP) — Rama Dama Rau, Premier Ky's personal astrologist who predicted five years ago that the war would be over in six months, was drafted today."

"That explained more of the war than any other story I wrote," he said later.

In a 2005 interview about his career, Mulligan said he was "most happy that I never became an expert on anything — I never became a space writer, a science writer, a political writer — not being anything allowed you to cover everything."

An intellectual without pretense, Mulligan was a voracious reader and diligent researcher who gloried in finding obscure nuggets of fact and history. His home in Ridgefield, Conn., which he named "Hardscribble House," featured a wall-size bookcase with the works of Irish writers. Despite a lifelong stutter, he also was a brilliant raconteur, delighting audiences with witty observations drawn from his journalistic adventures.

With other AP staffers he co-authored books on the Kennedy assassination and the 1967 Six-Day War, and he wrote his own books on Vietnam, the racehorse Kelso and Sherlock Holmes.

In 2005, he published a memoir, "Been Everywhere, Got Nowhere," drawn in part from a lifelong diary.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, the former Brigid Murphy, whom he married in her home parish in Armagh, Ireland, in 1948; brothers Andrew, of Las Vegas, and John Mulligan, of Saugerties, N.Y., a former AP reporter and New York City assistant fire commissioner who is a Board member and past President of the New York Press Club; and several nieces and nephews.
Edith Evans Asbury
Edith Evans Asbury (1910-2008)



Edie Asbury whose long career as a reporter began in 1929 and never really ended, died October 30th at her Greenwich Village home.
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She had been in declining health for the last two years, according to former Press Club president, Rich Lamb, who was a friend.

Born June 30th, 1910, in New Boston, Ohio, Edie was an eldest child and survived all but one of her 16 brothers and sisters.

Her journalism career began in 1929 and briefly interrupted her formal education when she left Western College for Women after a summer job on the Cincinnatti Times-Star (later earning an undergraduate and master's degree in American history from the University of Tennessee).

She was a reporter on the Knoxville News Sentinel in the mid 1930's before moving to Manhattan where she found work as a writer for the New York City Housing Authority and as a reporter for The New York Post, the Associated Press and the The World-Telegram and Sun.

Edie joined the New York Times in 1952 and found a home there until her retirement in 1981 though, according to colleagues at the paper, she was known to regularly phone various desks, well into her 90's, to suggest coverage of stories that she felt had been overlooked.

After retirement she continued a prolific stream of articles and stories for the Times and other publications, including the New York Press Club's Byline magazine.

During her Times career, Edie won acclaim and numerous awards for reporting on topics and issues such as urban housing, problems of the elderly, desegregation in the South post-Brown v. Board of Education, interracial adoption and reproductive rights.

A member of the New York Press Club for many years, Edith Asbury was also a regular participant in productions by the Inner Circle, a troupe of New York City reporters who stage an annual satire show for charity.
Vincent Lee
Vincent Lee (1934-2008)



Vincent Lee, an old-school Daily News reporter who chased fires and bird-dogged the Fire Department for three decades, died Sunday of a heart attack at his Somerset, N.J., home. He was 74.
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Lee won numerous professional awards, was a former president of the New York Press Club and was a consultant for the movie "The Paper," in which he had a small part. Tall and immense - "a hulk of a reporter," The New York Times once called him - he was known for his many City Hall contacts and his VIP treatment at disasters.

Lee was on a first-name basis with a long line of fire commissioners and regularly made the rounds of firehouses and firefighters' haunts to schmooze, often in the company of his favorite energy drink, a Heineken.

Don Singleton, a retired rewriteman who often worked with Lee on stories, recalled how a firefighters' strike in November 1973 was short-circuited after Lee disclosed that fire union leaders had authorized an illegal strike. From his vast contacts, Lee had learned the union rank and file actually voted against a strike.

Born in New York City, Lee joined The News in 1955. He retired in 1993.

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