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RIP

RIP: Daily News Reporter-Editor Bill Federici

Glenn Greenwald and Bill Federici are part of a very select newspaper reporter group: journalists who have played a part in daring, real-life capers.

NYDNHeresRubyFront

In the case of former Daily News reporter and editor Federici, who passed away Tuesday in Florida at age 82 after a long battle with cancer, it involved the DeLong Star Ruby. From colleague Bill Hutchinson‘s obit:

On September 3, 1965, Federici landed on the front page of the Daily News, photographed recovering the DeLong Star Ruby from a phone booth in Florida.

The 100.32-carat gem was stolen on October 29, 1964 from the American Museum of Natural History by Florida surf bum Jack “Murph the Surf” Murphy and two other men. Also swiped in the heist was the famed Star of India sapphire, which was recovered in a Florida bus station locker.

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An Edward R. Murrow Award That is Bittersweet

GarrickUtleyWRVOPicThe 51-minute radio documentary New York in the World has been recognized with an Edward R. Murrow/Small Market Radio award for News Documentary. But as WRVO general manager Michael S. Ameigh explains, the usual elation has been dampened by the fact that program host Garrick Utley passed away in the interim:

“We received the news that WRVO was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award with a mixture of great pride and deep sadness that collaborator and narrator Garrick Utley, one of the most distinguished international journalists of his era, will share the honor posthumously having succumbed to cancer in February,” said Ameigh.

Ameigh describes New York in the World as Garrick Utley’s project. The documentary is based on research Utley commissioned as head of the SUNY Levin Institute, which promotes thoughtful engagement and an active response to globalization and its impact on New York state. “That he invited WRVO to produce the documentary is in itself profoundly gratifying,” Ameigh said.

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Jack Lemmon, Harry Belafonte and Gabriel García Márquez Walk Into a Bar…

This weekend’s Washington Post interview with Edith Grossman, who translated the novels of Gabriel García Márquez beginning with 1985′s Love in the Time of Cholera, was fascinating. But FishbowlNY’s favorite remembrance of the Nobel Prize winner, also involving the year 1985, comes from David Markus, executive for arts coverage at San Francisco public outlet KQED.

ShutterstockHemingwayElFloriditaIn 1985, on behalf of two publications, Markus was attending the Latin Film Festival in Cuba. At one point, he found himself hanging out at the El Floridita, a bar made famous by Hemingway, with the author and festival honorees Jack Lemmon, Harry Belanfonte. From Markus’ piece:

That day “Gabo,” as everyone called Márquez, is the definition of cool. He looks like a cross between Anthony Quinn and Jean-Paul Belmondo, fit, strong, proudly middle aged. He speaks pretty good English in what appears to me as his unofficial role as minister of charisma for the festival — meeting, greeting, charming all kinds of folks…

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Radio Reporter Recalls the Time Kurt Vonnegut Proposed to His Wife

DavidBrancaccioPicThe keynote speaker at this year’s “Night of Vonnegut” fundraiser celebration in Indianapolis will be Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio (pictured). Ahead of the April 19 event at the Vonnegut Library, the APM (American Public Media) radio vet explained to Nuvo managing editor Ed Wenck that he hooked up with the library during a previous visit to Indianapolis and is very proud of his encounter with the late author on behalf of one-time PBS newsmagazine NOW.

Brancaccio started out as a co-host on that program with Bill Moyers before eventually taking over as the sole host. It was during that latter stage that he conducted what would turn out to be Vonnegut’s final long-form TV interview:

“He sat down with me for hours. We put about an hour of it on the air. It was a great honor. The interview wasn’t right at the end of his life — I think he was with us for another year and a half after that…”

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Faced with Unthinkable Tragedy, Entertainment Journalist Creates ‘Stolen Moment’ Campaign

SavannahFundly_04_07Larry Carroll, who as a west coast MTV.com journalist buttressed the earliest days of the Twilight franchise with #TwilightTuesdays, shared on Friday via Facebook some absolutely devastating personal news: the sudden death of his two-year-old daughter. And yet, somehow, some way, Carroll quickly erected that same day a powerful and astonishing tribute to her spunky life spirit.

Carroll, who has also covered Hollywood for E! Online, MSN and Xbox, set up a Fundly campaign in his daughter’s honor. The “Stolen Moment” call for donations quickly exceeded its target goal through the support of journalist colleagues, friends, neighbors and strangers. From Carroll’s campaign introduction:

I’m feeling very powerless right now… The only way I can handle this powerlessness, I figure, is with the power to give someone else joy.

So, here’s my idea: If you’d like to make a donation in Savannah’s name – any size – please do it here. And my dream is to take every penny of those donations, locate a special little girl somewhere in the world – and give her and her family the “Stolen Moment” that we’ll never be able to make with our baby Savannah.

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Character Actor James Rebhorn Saves His Best for Last

JamesRebhornPicOne of the most similarly elegant summaries of the self-obituary written by James Rebhorn shortly before the character actor passed away last Friday comes from Globe and Mail TV writer Andrew Ryan. The Canadian reporter notes:

Rebhorn’s most endearing thoughts go toward his wife, Rebecca, and their two daughters, Emma and Hannah… Rebhorn also takes the time to suggest his daughters keep their mourning to a minimum.

Gawker’s Dayna Evans and others have described the obituary as “heartbreaking,” but we humbly beg to differ. Rebhorn’s life was full of love and balanced, professional success. Through this obituary, the actor presents himself as someone grateful for having been so blessed. As such, to us, it’s more uplifting than heartbreaking.

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RIP: Look Magazine Photographer Charlotte Brooks

CharlotteBrooksPer an obituary in the New York Times, Charlotte Brooks was born in 1918 as Charlotte Finkelstein, but because of pervasive anti-Semitism, later changed her last name to bolster her chances of professional success.

From 1951 until 1971, as Look magazine competed weekly with Life, Brooks was one of just a few female members of Look‘s full-time photographer ranks. From humble assignment beginnings, she would go on to cover Duke Ellington, Ed Sullivan, Fats Domino and Richard Nixon. From a Library of Congress essay about Brooks’ career:

She accepted a job in the promotions unit of the Advertising Department, making pictures that regular staff photographers balked at doing. Her tasks included the “sociable cheese” series – photographing supermarket displays when a cheese manufacturing company was a major Look advertiser. Another lowly assignment had her in smoke-filled rooms at professional meetings, photographing visitors’ heads in cardboard cutouts of celebrities.

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Honoring the Memory of a Slain Dominican Journalist

AFlowerforOrlandoFar from the din of today’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebrations, there is also “A Flower for Orlando.”

The annual gatherings – held here in NYC and elsewhere – celebrate the courageous journalism of Luis Orlando Martinez Howley, a Dominican reporter murdered in his native country March 17, 1975. From a brief report by Dominican Today:

Martinez had published numerous articles questioning widespread corruption in the administration of the late Joaquin Balaguer, in his column for newspaper El Nacional. As is the case every year, the ceremony will be held at Juan Pablo Duarte Square, located at the corner of 170th Street and Broadway in upper Manhattan.

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Daughter Celebrates Voiceover Titan Hal Douglas at iLasting.com

HalDouglasPicOn March 7, the world lost Hal Douglas, the voice of so many memorable Hollywood movie trailers and other sterling works of voiceover art. After a career spent recording at studios in New York City, he had shifted this century to a home studio in northern Virginia.

On March 13, Douglas’ daughter Sarah created a memorial page at iLasting.com. The page allows users to light a digital candle, and much more.

“I was honored that his family entrusted us with his memorial,” site founder Anthony Doctolero tells FishbowlNY. The site, launched in 2008 in San Francisco, grew out of similar feelings Doctolero was seeking to express about his late grandfather.

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RIP: AP Entertainment Reporter Bob Thomas

ShutterstockBobThomasStarIn the later stages of his AP career, Bob Thomas was often tasked with reviewing and filing banked obituaries of major Hollywood stars. Today, sadly, it is the job of John Rogers to inform that Thomas has passed at the age of 92.

Over the course of a record-setting journalism career, Thomas covered 66 Academy Awards ceremonies, phoned in from the scene an AP bulletin about the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy and wrote nearly three dozen books. His entertainment reporting work spanned seven decades, beginning in 1944 and ending in 2010:

Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the AP, worked with Thomas in the Los Angeles bureau in the early 1980s.

“Bob was an old-fashioned Hollywood reporter and he knew absolutely everyone,” she said. “He had a double-helping of impish charm with the stars, but back at the office, he was the quiet guy who slipped into a desk at the back and poked at the keyboard for a while, then handed in a crisp and knowing story soon delivered to movie fans around the world.”

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