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International Correspondent Barrie Dunsmore Dies At 79

Barrie Dunsmore speaks at a podrum with a VPR sign behind him at a VPR's 2014 commentator brunch.
VPR File
Barrie Dunsmore speaks at VPR's 2014 commentator brunch. Dunsmore, who covered international news for ABC for 30 years, died Sunday at age 79.

Journalist Barrie Dunsmore was a familiar face to national television audiences for 30 years, covering international news for ABC. For seven years he served as the network’s senior foreign correspondent.

Dunsmore died Sunday at the age of 79.

He filed reports on many of the historic events of the last half of the 20th century, including the fall of South Vietnam, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Dunsmore reported most extensively from the Middle East, covering its wars and the changing fortunes of peace efforts there.

He was also a VPR commentator for a dozen years when he and his wife lived in Charlotte. Speaking at a 2014 commentator brunch, Dunsmore touched on how reporting from countries around the globe shaped his outlook:

"I have subscribed to the idea that every human being is unique. I have rejected the impulse to categorize people according to their race, religion, gender, economic status or sexual orientation ... But here is the dirty little secret that I discovered after spending much of my adult life living abroad while reporting from many of the countries of the world: human beings are remarkably similar."

In a statement, Sen. Patrick Leahy said Dunsmore "had a great sense of history, which too often is missing today."

"As Vermonters we have been enriched and enlightened, and sometimes challenged, by his perceptive commentaries, in which he shared his experience and his sharp insights," said Leahy.

Dunsmore, who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, is survived by his wife Whitney Taylor and by his children Timothy, Leeanne and Campbell, in addition to four grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers.

There will be a memorial service for Dunsmore on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C. The memorial will be livestreamed through the organization's website.

Update 5:30 p.m. This post was edited to add comments from Sen. Leahy.

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
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