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From the Field

Persian Gulf Crash Kills KCBS-TV Cameraman
Read TV LA article here

By Rick Friedman

It is often said when someone dies that we should celebrate their life. We rarely do. But on a triple-digit degree sunny Saturday in Los Angeles, we did. And rightly so.
KCBS-TV news photographer, Larry Greene, was killed when the rotor of the Navy helicopter he was shooting from struck the mast of a Syrian ship under surveillance and crashed. He was 50 years old and leaves behind a wife and two children. They, along with hundreds of others who worked with and knew Larry, came together at the CBS lot in Studio City for an inspiring two-hour memorial service.
It was presided over by "Access Hollywood" host Pat O’Brien, who was at his most masterful throughout. Pat, like so many of us in attendance, had worked with Larry at CBS2, but not for many years.
I had first met Larry in 1984 when we were covering the GOP convention in Dallas, TX. We encountered each other at many other major national news stories over the rest of the decade. In 1991 and ’92 during my two brief tours at CBS2, I was fortunate enough to work with him as well. Over the years, we continued to run into each other, mostly at awards banquets. Larry was honored over his career with every industry award you could imagine, from the coveted du-Pont Columbia award to the Edward R. Murrow, numerous Emmys, and more.
Larry was more than the epitome of a consummate professional. Indeed, he was the best of the best in the field of photojournalism. He was also the class clown, prankster, a talented cartoonist, a passionate rock guitar player and drummer, and so much more. He was known for having his photograph taken with famous participants in stories he was covering (like President Bush #41 and Miles Davis), explaining that it was "ten seconds of embarrassment for a lifetime of pleasure."
Celebrity guest speakers included Ann Curry of NBC’s "Today Show" (who flew into LA from New York just for the service) and Roy Firestone of ESPN, who first met Larry when they were both student deejays at their college radio station. Each had fabulous and humorful recollections of inimitable "Larry Green moments." Among the most amusing remarks were those of "Celebrity Justice’s" Harvey Levin, who began his touching remembrance by noting that "the world has lost the only Jew who loved guns and understood electronics."
One of Larry’s idols, musician Todd Rundgren, paid tribute via videotape from Japan where he was touring. An awesome video tribute, narrated by O’Brien, and edited by friend and colleague Richard Alvarez, was a momentous highlight of the memorial.
A partial list of attendees regrettably leaves out many more who also deserve to be mentioned, but is worthwhile because it gives scope and perspective to the long-lasting impact Larry made to the many lives he touched: anchors Harold Green, Marc Coogan, (all CBS2), Colleen Williams (NBC4), Sylvia Lopez (KCAL), Jane Velez-Mitchell (formerly CBS2 and KCAL); Steve Rambo (formerly KCBS); Jim Moret (formerly of CNN); reporters Linda Breakstone, Drew Griffin, Randy Paige (KCBS2), Judd McIlvene, Helen Kumari (both formerly CBS2); former news director John Lipmann, former assistant news director and KCOP reporter Tammy Taylor; former executive assistant Shari Freis; producers Cindy Hubach ("Behind the Music," "Beyond the Glory"), Danny Tobias ("Celebrity Justice"); photographers Steve Field, Gary Brainard, Denny Macko (KCOP); editor Dee Dee Markes.
All of us who attended are indebted to CBS2 and KCAL GM Don Corsini who made sure everything was done just right. We all knew in advance that we just had to be there. We came away with memories of Larry Greene we can all treasure always.