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Obituaries

Lawrence Spivak, originator of the NBC’s “Meet the Press” and pioneer of television’s Sunday news show format, died Wednesday in Washington. He was 93.

Spivak died of congestive heart failure at Sibley Memorial Hospital, said Tim Russert, Washington bureau chief for NBC and the current host of the show.

He was moderator of “Meet the Press” from its bow in 1947 until 1975.

The first show was broadcast only in New York, although it was produced in Washington, the network said.

By its third broadcast, the program clearly was going to be a hit. NBC executives gave it network status, broadcasting it in New York and Washington.

NBC said Spivak and colleague Martha Rountree began “Meet the Press” as a promotion for the American Mercury magazine. Spivak was publisher of the periodical at the time.

Spivak bought Rountree’s interest in 1953, when she retired. Two years later, Spivak sold his rights to the show to NBC.

He remained with the program as moderator until 1975, when he retired. His last interview was with President Ford.

Spivak’s son, Jonathan, works for the Wall Street Journal.

* * *

John Marshall

John Marshall, British film producer, died Saturday in Gloucestershire, England, of a heart attack. He was 59.

Marshall helped bring Muhammad Ali’s life story to the screen and the two formed a friendship.

A keen sports fan, Marshall also worked on documentaries about tennis stars Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith.

Earlier, he managed the careers of Richard Harris, Nina van Pallandt and Frank Ifield.

Survivors include his brother.

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