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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Alistair Cooke dies at 95

BBC Presenter dies at 95

Alistair Cooke dies aged 95

Claire Cozens, press and publishing correspondent
Tuesday March 30, 2004

 Tony Blair today led the tributes to the distinguished broadcaster Alistair Cooke, who died last night aged 95.

The prime minister described Cooke, who presented BBC Radio 4's Letter from America for more than 50 years, as "one of the greatest broadcasters of all time" and said he would be "deeply, deeply missed".

"He was really one of the greatest broadcasters of all time, and we shall feel his loss very, very keenly indeed.

"He was a remarkable man who was broadcasting the Letter from America right up to a few weeks ago. He will be deeply, deeply missed," said Mr Blair.

Cooke who retired just weeks ago after a journalistic career spanning 70 years, died last night at his home in New York.

A BBC spokesman said Cooke's daughter had contacted the broadcaster's biographer, Nick Clarke, with the news. He said that Alistair Cooke died at 12am local time at his home in New York.

The thing about Cooke, who became famous for his intros to Masterpiece Theater on PBS, is that he did his reports from New York for over 50 years every week. If you ever listened to him on the world service his insights were amazing. He did a piece on last year's blackout which I found charming. He basically discussed America to the world for half a century and explained it in a way which was charming and insightful.

However, I always wondered how long he could keep working, After all, he did his weekly reports for 50 years and was 95 when he quit. I was always captivated by his reports because he'd seen so much.You could always learn so much from him. I'll miss his reports.

posted by Steve @ 9:29:00 AM

9:29:00 AM

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