REMEMBERING LARRY GREENE
FROM HAL: I want to express how badly I feel about the death
of KCBS Photographer Larry Greene. Larry was one of my "field
friends." From time to time over the past 20 years we'd
see each other out on a story . Nice, helpful, funny, sincere
-- a terrific shooter, a great guy and a real pro! Our condolences
to Larry's wife, 2 children, colleagues and friends.
died in a helicopter accident Friday September 6th, in the
Middle East while on assignment. According to cbs2.com the
chopper "crashed as it was hovering over a Syrian freighter.
Greene, 50, a KCBS cameraman for 24 years, was aboard a Navy
SH-60B Seahawk helicopter when a rotor blade accidentally
hit the mast of the ship, sending the helicopter into the
ocean, 80 miles off the Iranian coast, according to Brig.
Gen. John Rosa, the deputy operations director for the Joint
Chiefs of Staff." Four sailors were injured. The cause
is under investigation.
Greene and KCBS Investigative Reporter Randy Paige were in
the region covering U.S. servicemen serving in the Middle
East. Paige was on a guided missile cruiser some 200 yards
away from the Syrian vessel at time of the crash.
What follows are several thoughts from people who, over the
years worked with or knew Larry.
It is still hard a week later to comprehend the loss of KCBS
Cameraman Larry Greene. I first met Larry when I started in
the field as
a reporter for KLAC in 1978 and he had just begun working
for KCBS at
that time. His enthusiasm for covering news was as infectious
sense of humor and you could always count on experiencing
both any time
that you ran into him in the field. Being counted as one of
provided both a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction...a sense
as a person and a journalist were judged to have (with apologies
Wolfe) "the right stuff".
This was a man who seemed to have a 6th sense about news
Los Angeles...where and when it was happening...and how best
it. Even when Larry beat you to the scene (which was more
often than you
would want to admit) you could still take comfort in the fact
you were where he was, you knew that you were in the right
all the action would happen. That uncanny sense was also exhibited
when the story turned mobile or "tactical". I never
saw Larry Greene out
of position regardless of how many cameras were crowded and
backward in a hallway or a sidewalk, never saw him in a situation
he couldn't get and deliver the key shot that infused any
story, big or
small, with a compelling image that no viewer could ignore..and
always amazed that in the middle of a dangerous situation
that critical balance between journalistic commitment and
Larry was proud of his work and skills...but was also just
quick to give praise to the efforts of other cameramen or
Hearing from Larry that he relied on you for information....or
did a "great job"...was one of the highest compliments
you could recieve
in the LA news community. With his death we are all very much
diminished..for we have lost an intelligent,impassioned,compassionate
man.....a friend....and a "shooter"...in the finest
KFWB NEWS 980
Los Angeles, Ca.
Award winning photojournalist Larry Greene was killed in a
Navy helicopter crash in the Persian Gulf. Greene was on Special
Assignment Sept. 6th, flying above a Syrian flagged tanker
when the rotor of the SH-60B Naval Helicopter, clipped the
mast of the ship and crashed. He was 50 years old.
To most of the world, that paragraph would be a footnote
in the day's news. To me, it's a giant's foot that has crushed
out a beautiful part of my life. And to all of you who knew
him, who called him friend, called him when you needed help,
or you needed his truck, or you needed a job, I know that
giant foot just crushed you too.
His journalistic abilities can be cataloged in the many awards
this organiazation and others have bestowed upon him. It's
fair to say he won every award in the business: from the duPont
to the Murrow, from Breaking News to Best Documentary. But
what he did best was make everyone around him better. The
crappiest reporter in the business would come away from a
shoot with Larry looking like Mike Wallace. It's why we fought
over him. He made me look better, write better, produce better....hell,
half the time he was the producer. I just carried the sticks.
In the coming days a lot of you who never met Larry will
be hearing stories about him, and you'll wonder if he really
was all they say. Take it from one who knew him well, he was
the best. And his loss will be as big a loss to you, those
who didn't know him, as it is to those of us who did. Because
if you knew him, you loved him. And if you didn't know him,
you lost out on the opportunity to meet possibly the most
wonderful freind you could ever meet in a lifetime.
The loss of Larry Greene will forever be a void in all our
lives. Please remember him by filling that void with a handshake
at a news conference, by moving over an inch so a late arriving
photographer can get a shot, or by handing a spare battery
to someone who's warning light just turned on. He did this
and so much more for all of you. Please keep his spirit and
his love alive by doing it for each other.
KCBS-TV Anchor/Investigative Reporter
Los Angeles, Ca.
Over the years I've worked with a lot of great photographers
and without reservation I have to say that Larry Green was
the very best. He was a great shooter -- there are lot of
them out there -- but more than that Larry was a first class
journalist -- a throwback to the early days of television
news when photogs were expected to be reporters and bring
back all the facts as well as the pictures. I worked with
Larry on a lot of stories and he always kept entertained me
-- but we never missed an angle on a story. He took great
pride in his work and the stories I did with him and Drew
Griffin were largely built on his efforts. He was particularly
proud of our series "Friendly Fallout" detailing
the radioactive exposure from the rocketdyne plant in Santa
Susana. He never became discouraged by low ratings or the
myth of the "Indian burial ground" at Channel 2.
I'll always remember Larry with love and affection because
he made me laugh. he made me cry and he made me a better newsman.
KCOP TV Assignment Manager
Fomerly with KCBS
Los Angeles, Ca.
If Larry Greene was on a story, it was THE story. Larry would
assigned to the breakers, the top sweeps series, or the most
interviews to get. His work defined excellence. He never missed.
where we worked together, his dedication and "cool under
defined what a professional is all about. He had enormous
respect among his
Larry would always just know where the action was. He had
instincts. He was all about getting the job done and done
well. Larry was
my neighbor. My walking partner and I walked down his street
everyday. I am greatly saddened to lose a colleague and neighbor
in such a
tragic accident. Larry died trying to bring us the story,
in the line of
duty and his professionalism will be his legacy.
Former KCBS News Writer/Producer
Los Angeles, Ca.