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Jack Barry

Jack Barry was born in Waterbury, Vt., on September 23, 1926 and attended school there. He made his first radio broadcast over WDEV in Waterbury at the age of four, and broadcast from the local high school as well. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy and worked for Armed Forces Radio in the U.S. and the South Pacific. He attended St. Michael's College from 1946 until 1948. On May 30, 1948, Barry began his professional radio career at WJOY in Burlington, Vt., with a program called "It's Your Nickel." He worked for each of the other AM radio stations in the Burlington market at one time or another. Out-of-state stations where Barry worked include WTTM in Trenton, N.J.; WVAM in Altonna, Pa.; WILM and WAMS in Wilmington, Del.; KIOA in Des Moines, Iowa; and WPEN in Philadelphia, Pa. Barry began his television career hosting occasional programs for Vermont ETV, the statewide public television service, in the early 1970s, joining the staff full time in 1973. After a year, he left to work in Washington, D.C., as press secretary for Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. He returned to Vermont ETV in the fall of 1976. Barry hosted and produced "Vermont Report" a weekly interview program, and "Vermont This Week," a discussion of the state's top news stories with three journalists. He served as moderator on other ETV public affairs programs such as "Call the Governor" and was a familiar on-camera fundraiser for the public television station. In 1980, he was honored with the Distinguished Broadcasting Award from the Vermont Association of Broadcasters. Barry, who retired from Vermont ETV at the end of 1991, also served as a board member and trustee of community organizations such as the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, St. Michael's College, Maple Leaf Farm, Vermont Special Olympics, The United Way, Vermont Health Care Review, and Vermont Cancer Society. He was chairman of the the Vermont Heart Association. He was married, and had eight children. He was elected to the Vermont State Senate in 1994 and was reelected in 1996. Jack Barry died on May 4, 1997. Shortly after his death, Sen. Patrick Leahy stated that, "Jack achieved legendary status among Vermont broadcasters. As an interviewer, he had an unparalleled ability to get to the essence of a person and an issue...Jack had an on-air personality and voice to die for, and he was the same off the air, as fresh and genuine as the Green Mountains that he loved."

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