Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

TV producer

David Wolper

A documentary filmmaker, Wolper oversaw more than 300 films, including National Geographic specials and multiple episodes of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. In 1962 Time magazine declared that “the three largest producers of documentary films for television are NBC, CBS and David Wolper.” What really put him on the map, though, was a made-for-TV miniseries: Roots. Wolper was so impressed with the book that he optioned it before Alex Haley finished writing it, and even though he was advised it was an awfully risky bet. It was the early 1970s, and “a show where the white people are the villains [didn’t] seem like a good idea,” Wolper said later. But the bet paid off: the series was nominated for 36 Emmy Awards, and won nine — plus a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award — and was the highest-rated U.S. network TV program ever (33 years later, it still holds the #3 spot). Wolper could do live events, too: he produced the opening and closing ceremonies for the Los Angeles-based Olympics in 1984. “He wanted to be sure to give everyone goose bumps — and [he] did,” said Peter Ueberroth, president of the Los Angeles Organizing Committee. “Not until the Beijing Games in 2008 has anybody rivaled what he did as a volunteer and with a low budget.” Wolper died August 10 at home from congestive heart failure and Parkinson’s. He was 82.

From This is True for 15 August 2010


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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