Stephen E. Fleischman dies at 92

Writer, producer, director for CBS News, ABC News

Stephen E. Fleischman, a documentary writer, producer and director for CBS News and ABC News who was married 63 years to film editor Dede Allen, died Sunday of natural causes at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, his family announced. He was 92.

Fleischman began in network news in 1953.

At CBS News he worked with the public affairs unit on “The Search,” which examined research projects at the top U.S. universities.

He then produced a children’s program, “Let’s Take a Trip.” In 1957-58 he was producer of hourlong specials in Walter Cronkite’s “The Twentieth Century” series.

In 1959, he participated in the creation of the renowned Edward R. Murrow-Fred Friendly “CBS Reports” series, winning Overseas Press Club Awards for “Nigeria: The Freedom Explosion” and “Brazil: The Rude Awakening” with correspondent Eric Sevareid.

Fleischman went on to produce five more CBS Reports documentaries including “Birth Control and the Law,” which won the Lasker Medical Journalism Award for 1962.

In 1964, he joined ABC News, where he had his own documentary unit, as producer and exec producer, for 10 years; subsequently he was producer at ABC News Closeup for another decade.

He won numerous awards while at ABC, including a second Lasker for “The Long Childhood of Timmy” and the Columbia U.-DuPont Television Journalism Award for his “Closeup: The Gene Merchants.”

His final work for ABC News was the investigative report “The Cocaine Cartel,” about the five most dangerous drug traffickers in Medellin, Colombia.

More recently, Fleischman penned a political blog.

Forty of Fleischman’s documentaries are in the collection and archives of the Paley Center (Museum of Radio and Television) in New York and Beverly Hills.

In 2004, he wrote his memoirs, “A Red in the House: The Unauthorized Memoir of Stephen E. Fleischman.”

Allen died of a stroke in April 2010.

Fleischman is survived by a son, Tom, a dubbing mixer of several films by Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme and Spike Lee; a daughter, Ramey; as well as grandchildren and great-children.