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Vic Sussman, Senior Editor at Public Radio Business Program Marketplace, Dies

Veteran journalist, broadcaster, author, Web pioneer and "Renaissance man" was 65

(Los Angeles) Nov. 22, 2004 - Vic Sussman, a veteran journalist who was senior editor for the public radio business program Marketplace, died Nov. 22 in Washington, D.C., of an apparent stroke after successful surgery. He was 65.

Over his long career, Sussman worked for the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Voice of America, America Online and Cahners Business Information. He authored numerous magazine and newspaper articles and three nonfiction books: The Vegetarian Alternative, Never Kiss a Goat on the Lips and The Compost Solution. He joined Marketplace, which is produced in Los Angeles by American Public Media, in January 2004.

"Vic was a true Renaissance Man, a broadcaster, author, organic farmer, print reporter and editor, magician, runner, serious weightlifter, voracious reader and Web pioneer," said Marketplace General Manager Jim Russell. "He will be deeply missed by his newest friends and associates at Marketplace."

Sussman was born in New York City and got his first job in broadcasting at 16 at a country western radio station in Arlington, Va., where he was known as "Vic Stephan, Arlington's red-headed cowboy." After receiving his bachelor's degree in journalism and master's degree in communications from American University in Washington, Sussman worked at public radio station WAMU-FM as a reporter/producer.

He was a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report from 1989-1996 writing cover stories and a wide variety of health, fitness and technology features. He was a columnist for the Washington Post's Book World from 1982-1992 and wrote a weekly column for the Washington Post Magazine called "Personal Tech" covering computers, audio-video and emerging consumer electronics from 1986-1989. He also wrote a wide variety of humor and feature articles for the Post, USA Today, Reader's Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Organic Gardening, Prevention, Runner's World and several other newspapers.

Sussman was an "early adopter" of the Internet. He lectured widely about the subject and was involved in the creation of major Web sites including USNews.com and the "Live Online" forum of washingtonpost.com. He was director of Internet programming for America Online from 1996-1997. He served from 2000-2001 as director of interactive Web programming for Cahners Business Information including Variety, Publisher's Weekly and Broadcasting & Cable.

His broadcasting experience included news anchor/newscaster for Voice of America (2002-2003); commentator for National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and writer and on-air work for CNBC- U.S. News & World Report joint productions. He won Japan's NHK prize for radio production.

Sussman is remembered fondly by friends and family as a man with strong intellect and opinions, and the ability to articulate them. His son Noah remembers a story about his father as a teenage disc jockey. "During his career as the 'Cowboy,' he pulled an Elvis Presley record off the turntable and smashed it, live on air, declaring, 'We won't be hearing any more of this cr#% during my show.' He never changed."

Except for the five years that he and his family tried organic farming in Vermont, Sussman lived in the Washington, D.C., area. He is survived by his wife, Megin Sussman of Silver Spring, Md; daughter, Rachel Sussman of Hanover, N.H.; and sons, Noah Sussman of New York and Brendan Sussman of Silver Spring. Funeral arrangements are pending.

American Public Media(tm) is the nation's second-biggest producer of public radio programs, reaching 13.5 million listeners nationwide each week. National programs include A Prairie Home Companion®, Saint Paul Sunday®, Marketplace®, Sound Money®, The Splendid Table®, Being™ and special reports produced by its national documentary unit, American RadioWorks®. American Public Media is the national production and distribution division of Minnesota Public Radio®. Minnesota Public Radio, along with its sister company Southern California Public Radio, belongs to a larger family of companies within American Public Media Group, a national nonprofit organization whose purpose is to develop resources, services and systems to support public media for public service. A complete list of stations, programs and additional services can be obtained at www.americanpublicmedia.us.