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Obituaries in the News

October 9, 2004

KINGSTON, Mass. (AP) _ Richard Ellison, a television producer whose documentaries about the Vietnam War and suicide stirred public debate and won him several Emmy Awards, has died. He was 80.

He died Friday at his home of diffuse Lewy body syndrome, a neurological disease, his family said.

Ellison was best known for his 13-part series ``Vietnam: A Television History,″ of which he was executive producer. It was broadcast on public television in 1983.

Though it was critically acclaimed and won six National Emmy Awards _ along with two individual Emmys for Ellison _ conservatives accused it of falling too favorably on the side of the North Vietnamese. PBS agreed to air a two-hour rebuttal to the series in 1985.

Ellison also produced ``Choosing Suicide,″ a 1980 documentary about a cancer patient who decided to kill herself. More than a dozen PBS stations opted not to show the film because of its sensitive subject matter.

His other television credits include ``CBS Reports,″ ``Bandwagon″ and ``Look Up and Live.″

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