EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND CORRESPONDENT
Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter
and editor and Emmy Award-winning producer/correspondent, is one of America's
most distinguished journalists. He has covered Washington and world capitals for
The New York Times, authored several best-selling books and created 20
award-winning PBS prime time specials and miniseries on Washington's power game,
Soviet perestroika, the global economy, education reform, health care, teen
violence, terrorism and Wall Street.
After September 11th, Mr. Smith went Inside the Terror Network with
PBS Frontline to show how Al Qaeda's conspirators organized their attack
and how the U.S. missed chances to catch them. He has since led Frontline
investigative reports, Bigger Than Enron,The Wall Street Fix,
Tax Me If You Can, Is Wal-Mart Good for America? and Can You
Afford to Retire? These programs probed accounting scandals, conflicts on
Wall Street, global trade, corporate fraud, the rising crisis in retirement
funding, and their implications for American investors, workers and retirees.
The Wall Street Fix won a prestigious Emmy for documentaries on business.
For 26 years, Mr. Smith served as a correspondent for The New York Times
in Washington, Moscow, Cairo, Saigon, Paris and the American South. In 1971, as
chief diplomatic correspondent, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning
team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. In 1974, he won the
Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe. From
1976-1988, he was The New York Times Washington bureau chief and chief
Hedrick Smith has published several national best-selling books, including
The Russians (1976), The Power Game: How Washington Works (1988),
The New Russians (1990) and Rethinking America (1995). He has
co-authored several other books. His newspaper career began with The
Greenville (S.C.) News. After completing his B.A. at Williams College and
doing graduate work at Oxford University, he worked for Universal Press
International in Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta, 1959-62, and for The New
York Times, 1962-88. He was awarded a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1969-70.
Mr. Smith began creating documentaries for PBS in 1989 with an adaptation
from his best-selling book, The Power Game. His second documentary
series, Inside Gorbachev's USSR, broadcast on PBS in 1990, built on his
experience as Moscow Bureau Chief for The New York Times in the 1970s, on
his best selling book, The Russians, and on his subsequent coverage of
Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika. Inside Gorbachev's USSR won the duPont-Columbia
grand prize in 1991 for the most outstanding public affairs production on U.S.
Mr. Smith's most recent PBS miniseries, the two-hour prime time special,
Making Schools Work, which broadcast in 2005, showed dramatic and surprising
improvements in educational achievement among students from poor neighborhoods
in previously low-performing schools. In two previous series, Challenge to
America in 1994 and Surviving the Bottom Line in 1998, Hedrick Smith
Productions compared American public schools and students with those in Germany,
Japan and China, to see which nations and systems are gaining competitive
advantage in the 21st century. By identifying school models and strategies that
are generating large-scale success - lifting the performance of roughly two
million low income and minority students - Making Schools Work offers
examples that have enormous significance for American public education across
In his documentaries, Mr. Smith's work ranges widely with enduring impact and
broad reach. His programs on Washington politics were not only popular but are
now widely used in college and university courses. Before the 2000 election, PBS
devoted an entire prime time evening to his pre-election special on U.S. health
care, Critical Condition with Hedrick Smith, which was nominated for an
Emmy. He has produced two four-hour miniseries on the impact of the global
economy on the U.S. middle class, Challenge to America and Surviving
the Bottom Line. For Black History month, he gave PBS viewers Duke
Ellington's Washington. A year later, he created Rediscovering Dave
Brubeck, an intimate portrait of the legendary jazz pianist.
In September 1999, after deadly violence at several U.S. public schools,
Smith produced a three-hour prime time special, Seeking Solutions, that
broke new ground by showing effective grass roots responses in six American
communities to teen violence, gangs, street crime and hate crime. The program
won the 1999 public service award for television from Sigma Delta Chi, the
national journalism society.
Almost all of Hedrick Smith's productions have won awards from film festivals
and competitions. The Power Game (1989), won the international RIAS prize
as well as a CINE Golden Eagle, and his inner city documentary, Across the
River (1995), about community building in crime-plagued neighborhoods of
Washington, won the prestigious Sidney Hillman Award, among others. Five other
documentaries have won CINE Golden Eagle Awards and others have brought home
honors from film festivals.
PBS viewers saw Mr. Smith for 25 years as a principal panelist on
Washington Week in Review and have also seen him as a special correspondent
for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Mr. Smith has received six honorary
doctorate degrees and has spoken at several college commencements.
Richard M. Clurman, a Leading Editor at Time, Dies at 72
By LAWRENCE VAN GELDER
Richard M. Clurman, whose passion for journalism brought him to prominence
at Time magazine and Newsday and whose passion for New York City made him a
leading figure in its cultural affairs, died on Wednesday at his summer home
in Quogue, L.I. Mr. Clurman, who lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan,
The cause was a heart attack, according to his wife, Shirley.
In a career at Time that spanned 23 years, Mr. Clurman held such posts as
press editor, chief of correspondents and head of the Time-Life News
Service, overseeing a network of 105 staff correspondents deployed
throughout the United States and in 34 cities abroad.
From 1955 to 1958, he interrupted his tenure at Time, which began in 1949
and ended in 1972, to become the editorial director and executive assistant
to Alicia Patterson, the publisher of Newsday.
In 1973, he became administrator of Parks, Recreation and Cultural
Affairs for Mayor John V. Lindsay. Mr. Clurman was also chairman of the New
York City Center and a member of the board of Lincoln Center for the
His commitment to journalism and his fascination with its practices and
lore led him to write several books, including "Beyond Malice: The Media's
Years of Reckoning," a 1988 analysis of the clash between the public and the
press, and "To the End of Time: The Seduction and Conquest of the World's
Largest Media Empires," a 1992 account of the merger between Time Inc. and
Toward the end of the book, Mr. Clurman wondered if Time's objective of
adding "to the quality of knowledge people had about the world" would
survive what he called the cultural gap between the corporations.
"No one should ask that benevolence be the priority of Time Warner or any
other public company," he wrote. "What can be asked is that this new
company, with its human and material assets, have a spine that is more than
stocks, bonds, rights, deals and tightly rolled greenbacks."
At the time of his death, Mr. Clurman was at work on a book about The
Wall Street Journal.
As sophisticated and accomplished as he was in journalism, Mr. Clurman
adopted a self-deprecating attitude toward his activities in other realms.
When named board chairman of the New York City Center of Music and Drama in
1968, Mr. Clurman said: "The suggestion came out of the blue. For 44 years
I've done nothing outside of journalism. I haven't even belonged to the
P.T.A. or the Red Cross.
"At first I thought they were seeking my advice about someone else and
then I thought they'd confused me with Harold," he said, referring to his
uncle, the critic and director Harold Clurman. "I am neither an impresario
nor a tycoon, and impresarios and tycoons are often the moving spirit behind
cultural organizations of this sort."
But within a few years, he was being credited with expanding the
activities of the City Center.
Mayor Lindsay, who was president of the center and leader of its
selection committee, clearly valued the fresh eye Mr. Clurman brought to the
center and to his post as Parks Commissioner.
There, Mr. Clurman touched off an immediate furor by declaring at his
swearing-in ceremony that he would withdraw all maintenance and services
from parks that were repeatedly vandalized and where the community made no
effort to halt the destruction.
He took pride in coming to the inner workings of the city as an outsider
unwise to the way of political patronage.
"In the world I came from, I had only dispensed jobs on merit," he wrote
in 1974 in The New York Times. "So I set about hiring, firing and moving
people on the basis of what I thought the parks administration needed. Mr.
Lindsay was so bemused by my political innocence that neither he nor his
staff ever suggested I do it any other way. The clubhouse politicians, whose
names I eventually learned but from whom I never heard a word, either
considered me so ignorant or so temporary as to be unworthy of their
In another article, he recalled his introduction to George Balanchine and
Lincoln Kirstein of the New York City Ballet in his capacity as chairman of
the board of the ballet company and its parent organization, the New York
City Center of Music and Drama.
"I informed them that although I appreciated the other arts and was
certainly informed about world affairs, I had been to the ballet only once
in my life," he wrote. "Balanchine half rose from his chair and asked
incredulously, 'Do you hate the ballet?'
" 'Not that I'm aware of,' I replied, 'but if I were you, I'd make
something of how seldom I've gone.' "
Balanchine asked, "Would you open your mind to learning about the
ballet?" and, Mr. Clurman wrote, "promptly made an offer that only a dolt
could refuse: 'I would like to teach you about it.' "
Mr. Clurman suggested that he prescribe a bibliography and a list of
people to talk to, his usual mode of inquiry and learning as a journalist.
"No, just watch and listen," Balanchine said. He produced a program and
listed seven or eight ballets. For six weeks, Mr. Clurman said, he tried to
figure out what was going on.
"Then one night in the middle of Balanchine's pioneering 'Agon,' I had
the epiphany that my teacher had so artfully arranged. Nothing was going on.
It was just bodies moving gloriously to music. From that moment, the ballet
became my favorite spectator experience."
In 1975, after he left Time and municipal administration, Mr. Clurman
formed his own public policy consulting company, Richard M. Clurman
Associates. From 1980 to 1984, he also served as adviser to the office of
the chairman of Joseph E. Seagram & Sons. In 1981, he returned to
journalism, serving for a decade as the chairman of Columbia University's
seminars on media and society.
Engaged with ideas, Mr. Clurman was noted for dinner parties at which he
would tap a spoon against a glass, commanding the attention of his guests --
people like Robert F. Kennedy, William Buckley, Edward Albee, Barbra
Streisand and Norman Podhoretz -- and announce a topic they were expected to
"I refused to be bored," he said.
Mr. Clurman was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the
board of the Citizens Committee for New York City.
He was born in New York City in 1924. He received a Bachelor's of
Philosophy degree in political science from the University of Chicago in
1946 after serving during World War II in the Information and Education
Division of the Army. He began his career in journalism in 1946 as an
assistant editor on the magazine Commentary. After joining Time in 1949, he
served for six years as its press editor.
In addition to his wife, the former Shirley Potash, Mr. Clurman is
survived by his son, R. Michael Clurman Jr. of Manhattan; two daughters by a
previous marriage, which ended in divorce: Susan Emma Clurman of Manhattan
and Carol Duning of Alexandria, Va., and two grandchildren.