WGAE member Richard Cannon Died

Richard Anthony Cannon of Old Bridge, N.J., beloved husband, father, and grandfather and award-winning broadcast journalist, died suddenly on February 11. He was 80 years old. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara, a former mayor of Old Bridge, and his children Lisa and Alison, both of Burlington, Vt., Julia, of Plainsboro N.J., and Greg and his wife, Kathy Schwartz, of New Paltz, N.Y.; his grandchildren Guthrie, Seamus, and Analia; and his brother, Robert, of Greenlawn, N.Y. He is predeceased by his parents, Robert and Alice.

Bronx born and bred, Richard was the son of hardworking Irish-American parents, who helped make him and his brother the first in their family to attend college. He received a B.A. in Communication Arts in 1956 from Fordham University, where he served as campus correspondent for The New York Times. Later, he worked as a statehouse correspondent for UPI in Minneapolis before moving to broadcast journalism. First as a writer/producer for NBC and ABC affiliates in Minnesota and Boston and then for ABC News and WCBS in New York, his career spanned the glory days of the industry.

He covered, first-hand, historic events like the Apollo moon landing from mission control in Houston, the Middle East peace process from Egypt, the release of the U.S. hostages in Iran from Wiesbaden, Germany, where they were first flown. He covered both Kennedy assassinations, the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, and every national political convention over a span of 30 years, including the Democratic National Convention in 1968, where his up-close and personal reporting got him tear-gassed while covering the protests.

A tireless advocate for peace and justice, Richard produced some of the first documentaries on civil rights in the South, and the conditions of American Indians living on reservations in the West.  At WCBS, he was for many years lead producer for Jim Jensen, the longtime WCBS anchor.  A lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild, he won awards for his work from that organization and a New York Emmy Award.

He also produced numerous sports programs, including “Sport Rap,” with former Giants great Alex Webster, which aired live, immediately following Giants home games, as well as other specials featuring the likes of Tom Seaver, Ron Swaboda, and Jim Bouton.

He was an intrepid sailor and ever-curious globe trotter, who was fascinated with culture, history, and language. He traveled with his wife, Barbara, to the Brazilian Amazon, China, Mexico, South Africa, and many other faraway lands.

Since his retirement, Richard devoted his time and love to his wife and children, and especially his grandchildren, with whom he shared his wonderful sense of humor and love of laughter. He also spent time with his faithful companion, a dog named Snuggles. He was a talented craftsman and artist, who made stain glass, painted, and carved and constructed miniatures from driftwood.

A wake is planned For Friday, Feb. 20 from 6-8pm at the Old Bridge Funeral Home with a funeral to follow the next morning at Most Holy Redeemer Church in Old Bridge. Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to Doctors Without Borders at donate.doctorswithoutborders.org, click on “tribute donation,” or BronxNet Television at 2790 Goulden Avenue, Carmen Hall Room C19B, Bronx, NY 10468.