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R.I.P., Carolyn Jensen Chadwick
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R.I.P., Carolyn Jensen Chadwick



Finally this hour, we remember a former colleague. One of NPR's very first employees died yesterday. Producer Carolyn Jensen was 65.

NPR hired her in 1970 to set up its research library before any program was ever broadcast. Years later, as a producer, Carolyn established and maintained a partnership between NPR and National Geographic. Her job was to make radio stories with sound as vivid as the photographs in the magazine, and she did it.

Her program, Radio Expeditions, took her and reporters around the world to create long-form, acoustically rich stories, radio that's hard to excerpt and do justice to, but here's a small sample.

(Soundbite of archived footage)

Unidentified Man: The first night of the hunt, hands that carried guns all day picked up guitars. A dozen people sat around the fire and ate the dense, flavorful meat from an elk killed the previous year.

Professor REX COCROFT (University of Missouri-Columbia): When you come to a tropical rainforest, most people would think that your very first priority is, above all, avoid any contact with insects.

(Soundbite of rainforest)

ALEX CHADWICK: Those are treehoppers.

Unidentified Man #2: You have horses swim here, and we saw one swim earlier today, and was that interval training?

Unidentified Man #3: Well, they swim more than one session, yes.

(Soundbite of splashing)

Unidentified Woman: It's great for the horses because you can work them without getting on their backs.

Ms. VRINDA DAVIDASI (Teacher): Consciousness comes from purity and purity comes from our habits also, so we have to make our lifestyle pure.

(Soundbite of music)

SIEGEL: Some examples of audio from productions by Carolyn Jensen. Ten years ago, Carolyn was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. That's a rare cancer of blood plasma. Her life expectancy then was just three years.

She received care at the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she died yesterday. Her friends and former colleagues at NPR will miss her.

As her husband and former NPR host Alex Chadwick reminded us today, Carolyn Jensen isn't just part of NPR's heritage, she helped create it.

(Soundbite of music)


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