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Writer, Producer Kunhardt Dies

March 24, 2006

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. (AP) _ Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., a writer and producer of television documentaries on freedom and the American presidency, has died of complications from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 78.

With two of his sons, Peter and Philip B. III, Kunhardt helped produce documentaries for Kunhardt Productions, the Chappaqua-based family company, including ``Freedom,″ an eight-hour series broadcast on public television in 2003, and ``The American President,″ which profiled every U.S. president up until 2000.

Kunhardt, who died Tuesday, worked as an assistant managing editor and managing editor of Life magazine, retiring in 1982. He also wrote several books, including memoirs about his parents and ``A New Birth of Freedom,″ about the Gettysburg Address.

His mother, Dorothy M. Kunhardt, was a historian and children’s book author best known for ``Pat the Bunny″ in 1940. Together, they wrote two books: ``Twenty Days,″ about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, and ``Mathew Brady and His World.″

Kunhardt Production also owns the Meserve-Kunhardt Collection _ Civil War photographs first collected by Kunhardt’s maternal grandfather, Frederick Hill Meserve _ which includes rare glass negatives of Lincoln by Mathew Brady.

Kunhardt is survived by his wife, Katherine, three sons, three daughters and 18 grandchildren.

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