SYRACUSE — Longtime local newspaper reporter Richard Long — who logged plenty of time as a television documentary producer later in his career — has died. In the late 1990s, Long produced Skaneateles Scrapbook, an 11-episode series which aired on local cable access channels. Of the two plays he wrote, one eventually became an award-winning made-for-TV movie.
According to an article on syracuse.com, Long was born in Syracuse on New Year’s Day in 1926. After graduating from Christian Brothers Academy and serving in the Army, Long returned home and received his degree as part of LeMoyne College’s first graduating class in 1951. For the first three decades of his career, most of Long focused his efforts on print media.
In the 1970s, Long started writing plays. According to his self-written obituary, “‘Shenandoah Night Train’ and ‘A Private Matter’ were produced on several stages in Washington. ‘Shenandoah’ was later made into a TV movie, which won an ACE, the top award of cable television.”
During the 1980s, Long rejoined the U.S. Army as director of its Materiel Command. In that role, he produced more than 25 television documentaries. According to the Syracuse Press Club — where Long is enshrined on the Wall of Distinction — several of the documentaries won national awards.
When he returned to Central New York in 1992, Long continued to write for various local newspapers. He also produced a cable show called Irish Connection, along with an 11-episode documentary series called Skaneateles Scrapbook.
According to a story in the February 5, 1997 edition of the Skaneateles Press/Marcellus Observer, the show’s premiere featured interviews with the town historian, a man whose family’s ties to Skaneateles go back 200 years, another man who recounted his experiences as the former owner of the historic Roosevelt Hall. (The clipping also includes a photo of Long behind the camera, and elsewhere on the page, an advertisement promoting a former weekend show on 570 WSYR.)
Calling hours will be tomorrow from 4-7pm at Carter Funeral Home at 1604 Grant Blvd in Syracuse. Funeral services are set for Friday at 10am at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 259 East Onondaga St., Syracuse. Our condolences to Long, his family and his colleagues.