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Fred Friendly Laid To Rest

March 7, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Broadcast pioneer and journalism educator Fred W. Friendly was laid to rest Friday with accolades from those he taught and a well-thumbed copy of the Constitution in his suit pocket.

Friendly, who died at 82 on Tuesday, produced groundbreaking documentaries and was CBS News president from 1964-66, before becoming a Columbia University professor who conducted televised seminars on journalism and ethics.

Top television journalists like Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace turned out for a memorial service in the Bronx.

CBS anchor Rather, a young reporter when Friendly led the news division, recalled phone calls when Friendly ``slammed the receiver down hard enough to shake my fillings loose.″

For a while, Rather thought he had been renamed ``Dammit Rather.″

``Fred Friendly could be a pain in the neck, especially when he caught any journalist in a mistake,″ he said.

He was a behind-the-scenes presence during his years at CBS, producing the ``See It Now″ documentary series with Edward R. Murrow and ``CBS Reports″ in the 1960s. The public saw him as moderator of the Columbia University Seminars on Media and Society, which ended in 1992.

Colleagues and family members described Friendly as a brilliant, bearish man with bluster but a soft heart, one who was deeply affected by his World War II experiences helping to liberate Jewish prisoners from Nazi concentration camps.

One of his former teaching assistants, Martha Elliott, said Friendly set standards for a generation of journalists, frequently reminding many that he was doing television before they were born.

``He knew the language of television better than anyone,″ she said. ``After all, he invented it.″

His family concluded the memorial service by singing a sung portion of Aaron Copland’s ``Appalachian Spring,″ which Friendly had chosen as the theme music for ``CBS Reports.″

Recalling dinner-table conversations about media law, his family included not one, but two copies of the Constitution in Friendly’s coffin.

``My guess is that he’s already given them away,″ said his son, David Friendly.

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