Laurence Edward LeSueur (June 10, 1909 – February 5, 2003) was an American journalist, who was a war correspondent during World War II. He worked closely with Edward R. Murrow and was one of the original Murrow's Boys. He died in 2003 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
Larry LeSueur was born on June 10, 1909 in New York City. Both his father and paternal grandfather were journalists; his grandfather ran a newspaper while an Indian Agent in Tama, Iowa and his father was a foreign correspondent for the New York Tribune.
LeSueur began studies at New York University (NYU) in 1927. LeSueur studied English at NYU and in 1932 he received his Bachelor's degree. LeSueur's first jobs out of college were at Macy's and Women's Wear Daily. Shortly after he began working as a reporter for United Press, a wire syndicate.
In 1939 LeSueur traveled to England, where he approached Edward R. Murrow about a job. He was subsequently hired by CBS and Murrow. LeSueur covered the war across Europe, filing radio reports from Russia and London. He covered the war on London After Dark, along with Murrow and Eric Sevareid, reporting the ongoing London Blitz. He reported extensively from the Soviet Union after he was assigned to Moscow in 1941.
LeSueur covered D-Day, the liberation of Paris, as well as the Dachau and Mauthausen concentration camp liberations. He delivered the first broadcast to American listeners from a liberated Paris via underground radio broadcast which had not been cleared by military censors. For this he was cited by the War Department for "outstanding and conspicuous service" and awarded the French Legion of Honor and French Liberation Medal.
On June 6, 1944, LeSueur landed with American troops at Normandy on Utah Beach and may have been the first reporter to broadcast from the American beachhead. LeSueur went ashore with the American 4th Infantry Division but his cables from June 6 were lost by Navy couriers en route to London. It took a week until his broadcasts from the first day of Normandy could be heard by U.S. listeners. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom for his reporting on World War II. LeSueur also penned a book in 1943, Twelve Months That Changed the World, about important Eastern Front battles he covered in 1941 and 1942 for CBS.
After the war ended LeSueur became CBS' White House correspondent and covered the Paris Peace Conference. Soon after he began covering the United Nations. In 1948, LeSueur and CBS Radio were awarded a Peabody Award for radio shows UN in Action, Between Dark and Daylight and others. A year later, as moderator of the CBS Television show United Nations in Action, he won another Peabody Award. He also co-hosted the CBS TV show Longines Chronoscope (1951-55). LeSueur's last appearance on CBS Radio came in 1999 when he appeared with former Murrow's Boys colleagues Richard C. Hottelet, Howard K. Smith, Marvin Breckinridge Patterson, and other former radio colleagues Robert Trout and Ed Bliss for a 20th-century round up show.
LeSueur left CBS and joined Voice of America (VOA) in 1963. LeSueur was considered the "forgotten" Murrow's Boy. At the time, VOA was an agency of the United States Information Agency, then headed by Murrow. As a reporter at VOA he was the White House correspondent until he retired in 1984.
LeSueur was married three times. the first two marriages to Joan Phelps and Priscilla Bruce ended in divorce. His final marriage, to Dorothy Hawkins, lasted for 46 years until his death. He also had two daughters, one with Hawkins and another with Bruce.
Larry LeSueur died at age 93 on February 5, 2003 at his home in Washington D.C. after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. His wife, Dorothy, told CBS News on his death that he was listening to former Secretary of State Colin Powell address the UN on the evidence surrounding Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles in the run-up to the Iraq War.
Awards and honors
- French Legion of Honor
- French Liberation Medal
- Medal of Freedom
- Peabody Award: 1948 - Institutional Award for Outstanding Programming in the Promotion of International Understanding.
- Peabody Award: 1949 - Television News Award as moderator of United Nations in Action.
- Twelve Months That Changed the World (1943)
- Bliss, Edward. Now the News: The Story of Broadcast Journalism, (Google Books link), Columbia University Press, 1991, p. 93, (ISBN 0231044038).
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- "02-06-2003: CBS Newsman Larry LeSueur One of Murrow's Boys Dies at the Age of 93", (Press release), CBS, February 6, 2003, accessed June 21, 2011.
- Dunning, John. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, (Google Books link), Oxford University Press US, 1998, p. 502, (ISBN 0195076788).
- Goldstein, Richard., "Larry LeSueur, Pioneering War Correspondent, Dies at 93", (obituary), The New York Times, February 7, 2003, accessed June 21, 2011.
- Variety Staff. "Larry LeSueur:Peabody-winning radio pioneer journalist", (obituary), Variety, February 6, 2003, accessed June 21, 2011.
- de Vries, Lloyd. "CBS News Pioneer LeSueur Dies", (obituary), CBS News, February 11, 2003, accessed June 21, 2011.
- "CBS Radio Institutional Award for Outstanding Programming in the Promotion of International Understanding", The Peabody Awards, official site, accessed June 22, 2011.
- "George Foster Peabody Award Winners", The Peabody Awards, official site, pp. 10-11, accessed June 22, 2011.
- "United Nations in Action", Peabody Awards, official site, accessed June 21, 2011.
- Bernstein, Mark. World War II on the Air: Edward R. Murrow and the Broadcasts That Riveted a Nation, (Google Books link), Sourcebooks, 2005, (ISBN 1402202474).
- Chamberlain, John. The New Books, (Book review), (Harper's Paywall), Harper's, Vol. 187, No. 1120, September 1943, accessed June 22, 2011.
- Graebner, Walter. "Russia Stands Firm; TWELVE MONTHS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD. By Larry Lesueur. 345 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $3", (Book review) (NYT Paywall, Google Books). The New York Times, July 25, 1943, accessed June 21, 2011.
- LeSueur, Larry. Twelve Months That Changed the World, (Google Books link), A.A. Knopf, 1943.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Larry LeSueur|
- August, Melissa, et al. "Milestones Feb. 17, 2003", (includes LeSueur obituary), Time Magazine, February 17, 2003, accessed June 21, 2011.
- Guide to the Larry LeSueur papers, 1935-2003, Special Collections Research Center, Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, The George Washington University
- LeSueur, Larry. "Big Ben Bombed", (Mp3 Audio of Radio broadcast), May 11, 1941, via Musser, Rick. University of Kansas, School of Journalism & Mass Communications, accessed June 21, 2011.
- LeSueur, Larry. "Suicide Job Of The 1942 War", (Mp3 Audio of Radio broadcast), May 16, 1942, via Musser, Rick. University of Kansas, School of Journalism & Mass Communications, accessed June 21, 2011.
- LeSueur, Larry. "Paris Not Yet Free", (Mp3 Audio of Radio broadcast), August 24, 1944, via Musser, Rick. University of Kansas, School of Journalism & Mass Communications, accessed June 21, 2011.
- "War Reporter LeSueur Dies", (Audio), NPR, February 6, 2003, accessed June 21, 2011.