By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
Leroy Sievers has died. Casual television viewers will never know how many of the moments of our lives -- how many of the news events on this planet -- were brought into our homes by Leroy. He was a veteran producer for ABC News -- and he was simply thrilling, bordering on intoxicating -- to be around. At 6-foot-5 inches, he always seemed like a giant. It was fitting, then, that he was also a giant of our industry, and of his craft.
NPR listeners know that Leroy chronicled his own battle with cancer, as he did on his blog, displaying an incredible selflessness and strength of character. While others who were close, and dear friends are better equipped to talk about his life, I will always remember him from the invasion of Iraq. I saw him in the desert in Kuwait -- he was the largest person on the battlefield, and he was a civilian, in cargo shorts and a T-shirt. He was embedded with Ted Koppel and riding along with the Third Infantry Division. I had gone to their outpost, near the border with Iraq, to visit our late colleague David Bloom, and to wish them all luck prior to the invasion.
Days later, having successfully made it to Baghdad, I saw Leroy at the airport. We had arrived in the dark of night and slept a few fitful hours on a cement floor, while the booms, pops and flashes of warfare went on outside our busted-out window. I knew Leroy was running on less that we were, and yet he was like a good gunnery sergeant -- getting his team up and ready for action.
In his love of news, and his love of those in uniform, he yielded to no one. He was as brave facing death as the fighting men and women he revered. While you can read more about his resume, his foray into the Ivy League, his CBS News pedigree, his belly laugh and his wife Laurie, a member of our NBC News family, our thoughts tonight are rightfully with all of those Leroy leaves behind. He leaves us all better off for having known him, and having known true bravery in the name of Leroy Sievers.