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Retired NBC Cameraman Shelly Fielman, 80, Dies

15 May, 2017

On February 20, 2017, the television news industry and our Union lost a news legend with the passing of former NBC News cameraman Shelly Fielman. Fielman worked as a White House cameraman for 50 years before his retirement in January 2014.

            His first day on the job was November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. He was immediately sent to Dallas as an audio engineer to cover the story, only to witness Lee Harvey Oswald’s death two days later while assigned to Dallas Police Headquarters as part of NBC’s live coverage. Eighteen years into his career as a photojournalist, Fielman again captured a moment that made history, the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

            In 1981, Fielman was one of six network cameramen to receive a special Emmy award for filming the assassination attempt on Reagan. The White House News Photographers Association presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

            “His footage of the attempted assassination of President Reagan will be viewed by all present and future Americans. He keeps us visually educated with his camera work,” said NABET-CWA Local 31 President Rich McDermott. “NABET-CWA Local 31 salutes him and thanks him for his service to our Union and to America.”

            Prior to working for NBC, Fielman served his country as a U.S. Air Force bombardier communications operator.

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