A Salute To 'The Heart Of NPR,' Gary Smith

Longtime NPR Greeter and Client Services Coordinator Gary Smith passed away this week. For years, he sat at the reception desk at NPR's Washington headquarters. Smith was a force field of good cheer; he was a big man who became the heart of NPR.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And we pause to say goodbye to a man who said hello to us each morning when we walked into our building. For years, Gary Smith sat at the reception desk at NPR's Washington headquarters. He passed away this week. People are often pressed when they arrived here, employees and the newsmakers we put on the air. People are jet-lagged, anxious about a deadline or cranky from a lack of sleep, but Gary was a force-field of good cheer. He was a big man with a wide smile and a generous heart.

With each hello, each question about our family or a favorite sports team, each heartfelt condolence after a death or a divorce, Gary became the heart of NPR, and he proved that there's no such thing as a small job. He greeted everyone at the end of each week with happy Friday.

Now who knows if he was really happy every single Friday. It didn't matter. He made the most of his day, and he tried to make sure we made the most of ours. So in the spirit of Gary Smith, we wish all of you a very happy Friday.

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