Las Vegas Sun

September 23, 2014

World Mourns ‘Man of Great Spirit, Courage’

Saturday's death of SUN Publisher Hank Greenspun brought an outpouring of sympathy and respect from around the state, the nation and the world.

"I want to express our admiration and a salute from the people of Israel to a hero of our country and a fighter for freedom," said Israeli Finance Minister Shimon Peres, who called Greenspun "a man of great spirit who fought with his mind, his heart and his soul - a man of great conviction and commitment.

"Whoever knew him could have nothing but admiration for his courage," said Peres, the former Israeli prime minister. "He was a man of unbending conviction who would never spare an effort, a sacrifice, to fight for a cause, to fight for a people, to fight for a destiny.

"We have admired his courage as a fighter during the War of Independence. He was engaged in the battle, day and night. And since then, he has fought with his heart and his mind for the cause of Israel and never failing in his support for the country he has cherished.

"A great American, a great Jew and - I can say completely - a great Israeli: All the three combined in an outstanding man. We shall cherish his memory.

"My condolences to the family, and to the community."

"I'm heartbroken," Nevada Gov. Bob Miller said. "I've known Hank Greenspun since I was a child. I can't think of any person who has done as much for the community.

"He was a strong-willed, independent doer, in capital letters," Miller said. "He was the ultimate Las Vegas, accomplishing, helping to shape the community we now know.

"He surrounded himself with very strong, very competent people and worked with them and gave them the latitude to realize their potential and you don't find many who are willing to do that," the governor said.

"In no area did he excel with such a margin than in his community, especially when anything threatened the fabric of the community," he added.

"I lost a good friend," said U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. "He took up the cause of the underdog.

"The thing I remember most is the great family he had. To Harry Reid the greatest accomplishment he had was his family," the senator said.

"I've known him since I was a little kid, he was a friend of my father," said U.S. Rep. James H. Bilbray, D-Nev.

"He spoke out because he cared. He has left a lasting impression on this community. The presence of Hank Greenspun will be remembered for hundreds of years.

"He gave the best that he could give. I am happy to have been a friend," Bilbray said.

"He was a good man," said former Nevada Gov. Mike O'Callaghan, now SUN chairman of the board and executive editor.

"Hank was courageous, compassionate and had knowledge we all seek but seldom claim. He oftentimes had less than a few minutes for high-ranking officials and the wealthy, but he had unlimited time for the poor mother and her little child.

"His word was his bond. I've had no closer friend. The opportunity to be close to him for the past 10 years has been the most valuable experience of my life," O'Callaghan said.

"Hank was unique in his field," said retired syndicated labor columnist Victor Riesel, blinded by acid for his exposures of corruptions on eastern waterfronts. "He was hard-hitting; a real publisher compared to many others I've met."

"There was a humanity about Frank...the guts he showed. He was a publisher, a friend, a supporter of Israel."

The SUN was one of 200 daily newspapers that carried Reisel's columns before he retired three years ago.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, R-Nev., said she will miss the fiercely independent newspaper publisher.

"Hank was one of a kind," Vucanovich said. "His style of journalism was one of communication and passion. He had no peers and he will be missed by all of us."

Former Gov. Grant Sawyer called Greenspun a fighter.

"I would say Hank Greenspun, in my opinion, was the best writer and columnist I know of in the state of Nevada," Sawyer said. "He was a high-principled man and would fight for what was right and he spent his life doing that," Sawyer said.

Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., said Greenspun had been a dominant figure in Las Vegas for more than four decades, and his death represents the end of an era.

"He was a fighter. He was a champion of Israel," Bryan said. He was a great advocate of civil rights and played a key role in the integration of the Las Vegas Strip in the 1950s."

Former U.S. Sen. Howard Cannon, D-Nev., said that the world lost one of its greatest supporters.

"Hank was a great fighter for the underdog," Cannon said. "His support for worthwhile causes was legendary. Israel has lost on of its strongest supporters and the United States has lost a strong voice for overcoming injustice.

Dorothy and I and our family extend our deepest sympathy to Barbara and the entire Greenspun family," Cannon said.

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