OPC Colleagues Celebrate the Life and Work of Richard Stolley

OPC former Executive Director Sonya Fry speaking at the memorial for Richard Stolley. Photo: Filip Wolak

Friends, colleagues and family members gathered at the Century Association in midtown Manhattan to honor the memory of OPC Past President Richard Stolley on March 4. His three daughters hosted the event, and three past OPC Presidents attended: Allan Dodds Frank, Michel Serrill and Alexis Gelber, as well as OPC Executive Director Patricia Kranz. Sonya Fry, past OPC executive director, was one of more than a dozen speakers at the memorial. She talked about about his years as longtime member and as president of the club from 2004 to 2006.

Among other accomplishments, Stolley was known for his reporting at Life magazine, where he famously secured the Zapruder footage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. He was also founding editor of People magazine. Stolley died on June 16 last year at the age of 92. Read more on the OPC’s remembrance page here.

Fry recalled an anecdote from his tenure, when the two worked together on a program with the cast of the film Good Night and Good Luck that included the director, George Clooney, as well as actors Frank Langella and David Strathairn.

“After an entire summer of bugging the PR people in Hollywood they agreed to have the main cast members come to an OPC event in December 2005. At that time Dick Stolley was President so he arranged a space for a panel discussion and reception at the Time/Life building,” Fry recalled. “Dick was so great at taking Clooney and other cast members around the Time /Life galleries showing them important photographs, explaining about the Zapruder film and generally being a gracious and knowledgeable host. It was a most memorable evening.”

Fry also read a remembrance from OPC member Tom Brokaw.

“Dick was a hero to so many of us – especially younger journalists. One of the most creative journalists of his golden age. Modest, elegant and generous. I’ll always keep in my mind’s eye running into Dick at the top of Aspen on a snowy day. He was pointed down a difficult run, smiling and congenial. He was 80! God bless this great man.”