Remembering former TV news producer Clifford Feldman, lost to COVID : NPR

We remember Clifford Feldman, a former television news producer who lived in Washington, D.C. Feldman was one of nearly 700,000 Americans who have died from COVID.



ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Over the past year and a half, we have remembered some of the hundreds of thousands of people who have died in the United States after contracting COVID-19, and we have asked you to share with us the stories of those you have lost to the virus.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Today we remember Clifford Feldman, a former television news producer who lived in Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Buffalo, then went to Ohio State University, where he met his future wife, Susan.

SUSAN FELDMAN: We were best friends, but we weren’t. We were more than that. You know, he wasn’t – he was my soulmate, or I was his soulmate. But we weren’t. I mean, it was always deeper than that. And I hate all these trivial terms that people use. But we kind of had this instant connection that lasted a lifetime.

SHAPIRO: His father wanted him to be an accountant, but Feldman’s talent for writing and eye for photos took him in a different direction. He started out on local television, where he worked both in front of and behind the camera. One of his first assignments was the Kent State shootings in 1970. It was hard but rewarding work for Feldman.

FELDMAN: It was something that gratified him, and it was something that made him want to get up every morning and do something. I think this first experience marked his whole life.

FADEL: His work in Cleveland earned him national recognition. Eventually he worked for NBC and CBS in Washington, DC throughout the 80s and 90s.

SHAPIRO: Feldman’s favorite work may have been his last. He oversaw the production of NASA TV. He thought he was going to end his career there, but he stayed there for almost 20 years.

FELDMAN: He found everyone he worked with talented. He found NASA science fascinating. He always raised his hand to be, you know, a civilian in space.

SHAPIRO: Clifford Feldman has never been in space. He led NASA’s Total Solar Eclipse broadcast. This earned him the Outstanding Civil Service Medal, one of NASA’s highest civilian honors.

FADEL: Despite being extremely cautious for months during the pandemic, Clifford and Susan Feldman caught COVID late last year. Susan eventually recovered. Clifford died in January, just weeks before he could be vaccinated.

SHAPIRO: Even given the tragic moment of her late husband’s death, Susan Feldman knows she’s not the only one grieving the loss of a loved one to COVID-19.

FELDMAN: You know, there are almost 700,000 people who died. My son and I went to see the flags at the Washington Monument last weekend. You know, seeing that sea of ​​flags, each one of those flags represents someone else’s pain, someone else’s loss. So even though my loss is so huge and my children’s loss is so huge, everyone has gone through a similar event.

FADEL: Clifford Feldman passed away on January 14 of this year. He was 73 years old.

(SOUND EXTRACTION OF DAVID BOWIE SONG, “SPACE ODDITY”)

SHAPIRO: If you’d like us to honor a loved one you’ve lost to COVID-19, find us on Twitter at @NPRATC. There’s a pinned tweet at the very top.

(SOUND EXTRACTION OF DAVID BOWIE SONG, “SPACE ODDITY”)

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