Friday, March 27, 2009

Irving R. Levine

Mr.Levine was a presence at NBC since 1950 when he began covering the Korean War until his retirement in 1995. After joining NBC, he covered assignments from Korea, Moscow and Vietnam to Algeria, Poland and South Africa. As NBC correspondent in the Soviet Union, he did a half-hour program in 1955 giving a tourist's eye view of Moscow, showing Cold War-era Americans that the Communist capital had "an amusement park not unlike Coney Island (and) another park in which old men played chess and mothers relaxed with their children," The New York Times reported. He explored similar themes in his 1959 book, "Main Street, U.S.S.R."

In 1965, while in Rome, he interviewed the great film director Federico Fellini.

Always known for his dry, delivery and trademark bow ties, he had become the NBC's full-time economics correspondent in 1971 and in the last five years on the job also did weekly commentaries on CNBC. He also appeared more than 100 times "Meet the Press".

In a humorous 2001 essay in The New York Times, Levine welcomed the return of the middle initial as epitomized by then-new President George W. Bush.
He recalled that producers trying to shorten a television news story of his "finally suggested I drop the R in my sign-off, Irving R. Levine. I held my ground."
"`No,' I said, 'I'd rather drop the B in NBC.'"

Good Night Mr. Levine.
You will be missed especially in this economy.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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