Larry LeSueur

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Larry LeSueur (June 10, 1909February 5, 2003), born Laurence Edward LeSueur, was a well-known war correspondent during World War II. He worked closely with Edward R. Murrow and was part of an elite group of broadcast pioneers known as the Murrow's Boys.


  • I was an English major. I studied a lot of English literature, so got interested in the literary magazine and was a contributing editor. That's the closest I got to journalism then, but I always hankered to get into news.
  • When I graduated, work was still hard to come by, and the nice bosses at Macy's took me on full time.
  • People always died in the most hidden places. They'd bleed to death, I guess. By the time their bodies were brought in, they're bloated, and they'd dig out the identification tags on some corpse's chest, maggots all over the place. And those aren't scenes which you want to report to your people back home. I mean, everybody would think it was their own son. I didn't have his name.
    • All Things Considered, NPR, Washington, D.C.: February 6, 2003, transcript available at ProQuest: from Research Library Core. (Document ID: 351141181); excerpted from a 1994 concerning what LeSueur saw on D-Day at Normandy.
  • The words of the great French anthem rang out over the town square, sung for the first time by liberated Frenchmen in the free capital of Normandy and sung with such a feeling of life and warmth as has not been heard in France for four years.
  • Paris is the happiest city in the world tonight. All Paris is dancing in the streets.
  • We were huddled in the prow of our assault craft. German shells landed in the water, but you didn't hear any noise -- just white geysers of water going up alongside. Other small ships were swamped, and several of the tanks that accompanied us foundered. There were quite a few helmets floating around in the water nearby, which increased our apprehension. The Germans were firing from the ridge. I saw the first Americans killed by rifle fire crossing the inundated area. We knew Americans could get wounded, but we didn't know that they could actually expire. We thought that was only going to happen to the enemy. It was rather a sobering sight.
    • Adam Bernstein. (2003, February 7). Newsman Larry LeSueur Dies: [FINAL Edition]. The Washington Post, p. B.06. Retrieved June 21, 2011, from ProQuest National Newspapers Premier. (Document ID: 284067491), as told by LeSueur to the Washington Post in 1984.
  • ... [Y]our observer's camera is clicking steadily. It's beautiful up above the sunlit clouds. The smooth drone of your twin motors makes you happy. You feel like singing and then you do. Then out of the corner of your eye, you see four black dots, growing larger momentarily. It's an enemy patrol of German Messerschmitts. Your gunner has seen them too. You hear the rattle of the machine gun as you put your bomber in a fast climbing turn, but the Messerschmitt fighters climb faster. They form under your tail, two on each side. One by one, they attack. A yellow light flashes in front of you. The first fighter slips away while the next comes on at you. Again that smashing yellow flame. Your observer falls over unconscious. Before you can think, the next Messerschmitt is upon you. A terrific jolt. Your port engine belches smoke. It's been hit.... You force-land on the first Allied airfield. That night, seated next to a hospital bed where your observer nurses a scalp wound, you hear an enemy communique. A British bomber was shot down over the lines today. Well, you puff a cigarette and grin.
    • Woo, Elaine. "Larry LeSueur/'Murrow Boy' former war correspondant", (obituary), Los Angeles Times, February 8, 2003, accessed June 21, 2011. As quoted by Stanley W. Cloud and Lynne Olson in The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism, ISBN 0395877539. LeSueur just "after interviewing a young British pilot who had just flown a reconnaissance mission over Germany.

Twelve Months That Changed the World (1943)[edit]

  • I watched the living soldiers pass by the dead at the roadside without a glance, and the dead scarcely looked human. They resembled wax mannequins thrown from a show window, lying about in grotesque, inhuman postures, arms pointing toward the sky, legs frozen as though they were running. Their faces were bloodless, waxy white.

Quotes about LeSueur[edit]

  • Larry LeSueur was one of a small number of reporters who gave the American people a better idea of what World War II was about than they have had about any war since. -Andy Rooney
  • The only CBS reporter to witness much action.
  • His coverage of D-day and its aftermath alone should have earned him a permanent place in the network's pantheon.
    • Stanley W. Cloud and Lynne Olson, The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism, Mariner Books, 1997 ISBN 0395877539, in reference to his WWII reporting.
  • He was one of the greatest war reporters that there have ever been.
    • Stanley W. Cloud
  • He was a very happy man, full of fun. He always looked at the bright side of things.

External links[edit]

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