President Ross remembers mentor and ‘consummate newsman’ Irving R. Levine in NPR interview

Published Mar. 31, 2009

Long before he was president, Kevin M. Ross served Lynn University, and Dean Emeritus Irving R. Levine, as associate dean of the College of International Communication – a position that gave him a daily and up-close view of the pioneering news correspondent and television commentator, who passed away Friday morning, March 27, 2009. Ross remembered the veteran newsman and educator, who also served as a trustee at Lynn, in a National Public Radio interview on Friday (see “Listen Now” link at the top of the page).

In the interview with Neda Ulaby, which began with the words “America has lost one of its great newsmen,” Ross remembered a man who first brought his trademark wit, generosity and appetite for news to the university and its students in 1996, and remained actively engaged with the university in retirement.

“There were so many firsts with him, it seems,” Ross said. “He was there for the first heart transplant. He lived in communist Russia. He lived in communist China. He had so many first amazing first-hand experiences.”

In the story first broadcast on Friday evening, Ross also recounted a time when he found Levine preparing for an approaching meeting, his trademark bowtie uncharacteristically untied.

“And within about three seconds, with one hand, he tied his bowtie and put his notes in his pocket and said ‘okay, I’m ready’,” Ross remembered. “He was the consummate newsman.”

Dean Levine was remembered widely in national and international media over the weekend, with tributes running in the Washington Post, New York Times, and elsewhere. NBC’s Meet the Press – where Levine had appeared more than 100 times – paused at the end of the show on Sunday for a commemoration of its own.