Sunday, September 29, 2002
Los Angeles Arthur Lord, an Emmy Award winning television news producer who as NBC's Saigon bureau chief risked his life to evacuate more than 100 Vietnamese in the last days of the war, has died. He was 60.
Lord died Sept. 25 at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, his family said. He had been hospitalized for more than two months. A cause of death was not released.
During his four decade career, Lord had a unique eye on history. He covered the wars in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, the Apollo moon landings and the Iran hostage crisis. He won two Emmys and a Peabody.
Lord, a New York native, began working for NBC in 1966 after three years in the Air Force as a public information officer.
He was hired as a news writer and producer and wrote reports for some of the network's top anchors, including Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and Frank McGee.
In 1971, the network made him an on-air correspondent and sent him to Saigon to cover the war in Vietnam. He filed reports for 18 months before leaving to head the network's Houston bureau.
He returned to Asia in 1975 as Saigon bureau chief. There, he arranged the evacuation of 104 Vietnamese NBC employees and their families in the last days of the war.
On the way to the airport, Lord bribed officials with $100 bills to get the families to safety. He often said the evacuation, dubbed "Operation Peacock" after NBC's longtime symbol, was his proudest accomplishment.
Lord headed NBC News' Burbank bureau from 1979 to 1982.
He closed his career at the network as a producer for special projects, including coordinating coverage of papal visits and presidential trips.
Lord was also a vocal critic of some journalism practices. He called the media's coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial "one of the most disgraceful periods in U.S. journalism."
"He was a man known for his extreme integrity," said NBC correspondent George Lewis.
Lord, who retired from NBC in 1996, is survived by his wife, Susan, and three children.