Bob O’Brien

I need to shout out to my old colleague and journalist Bob O’Brien. He died in his sleep yesterday, and anybody who has lived in New York City would know his name, his face, and his talent.

When I first met Bob, he was an excellent writer for anchorman Bill Jorgensen at Channel five WNEW-TV. He quickly became what we call in the biz, a “street reporter,” meaning you covered anything and everything assigned to you.

“Street Reporters,” were the “Factbooks” of the city, the ombudsman of neighborhoods and in many ways the conscience of the streets. They knew the people who lived and died on their streets and in their homes. They knew the precincts and the cops who worked there. They knew the borough administrators on a first name basis. They did their homework in and on the streets, which included bars and bodegas and they told the daily stories of life and dying.

Bob O’Brien was not only a great writer; he was an excellent reporter, presenter, colleague, and competitor.

He finished what he came here to do and has gone home. Would that we could all be as talented. Thank you for helping me that one night in 1970. I’ll never forget it.

See you on the other side, Bob.

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