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C. Paul Luongo's Published Columns

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

David Brudnoy, 1940-2004


The last time David called my office was a few months ago to ask if I would speak to his students at Boston University about the subject of Public Relations. Of course I said I would, but I never heard from him again.

So many times have I had a variety of clients on his show and it didn’t seem to matter if it was a financial subject, which for the most part I would be involved with, or a fun JELLY BEAN story, David was comfortable at all levels and an uncommonly polite and concerned individual.

He always made sure that authors got credit on the show and would give out TOLL FREE TELEPHONE NUMBERS to help sell books or whatever the subject of the interview was about.

He’s also the only journalist that would go out of his way to mention my name on air with a client story which is most unlikely. Usually broadcasters stick to the subject matter, period.

David’s living room was his broadcast studio in the later years with all kinds of memorabilia and hundreds of books. I remember one day I commented on a STORK CLUB ashtray and told him that when I lived in New York, I was a VIP member of the club. Thereupon he insisted that I have it and to this day it sits in my office.

I also recall mentioning that I knew Peter Duchin, the orchestra leader, who had recently been on his show with a new book and before you know it, David insisted that I have the book which had been autographed to him!

Often I would come across David running through COPLEY PLACE on his way to a movie screening and I couldn’t help being impressed with the fact that because of his illness, he really couldn’t feel his feet touch the ground, yet he walked as if there was no problem.

On a dining experience with Kevin Myron (his former WBZ producer) at ABE & LOUIE’S, I somehow began to choke on a piece of meat and David quickly summoned someone to perform the Heimlich maneuver. And he was so concerned for me, despite his terminal illness.

When I called him recently about a client, THE NEWMAN SCHOOL, he quickly responded because he was a neighbor of the school and very interested in the programs offered. As we speak, we were trying to put together a show with several private high schools in the Boston area to discuss education issues.

Education was always an important topic to David and he wanted to play a role in helping to shape the future minds of the city he called home. He became a full professor this year at Boston University, teaching three courses (all the while continuing to host his radio show every night and reviewing hundreds of movies every year!!).

Students say his was the toughest course they ever took but also the best. There are hundreds upon hundreds of glowing course evaluations and many past students ready to give testimonials at will. He also became a fraternity brother at Emerson College where he mentored the young men and served as a role model for the lives that lay ahead of them.

He was very demanding of his students and his colleagues, expecting assignments and tasks be completed to the same degree of quality that he expected of himself. The result being that anyone who had the opportunity to work with him or know him was better because of it.

David Brudnoy was a rare gentleman indeed, touching many lives. In some sense he was a 19th century renaissance man living in the 21st century with all the sensibilities of an era that showed considerably more consideration to all people. The world needs more people like David Brudnoy. But there was only one.

I always called dear David by his Hebrew name, so good night, DAVEED.

We’ll miss you.