ABC News announced the death of its longtime political director, Hal Bruno, at age 83. Bruno had headed campaign and election coverage for the ABC television and radio networks for 19 years before his retirement in 1999.
Bruno joined ABC News in 1978 after 18 years with Newsweek magazine. His tenure as head of ABC’s political coverage included serving as moderator of the 1992 vice presidential debate, in which incumbent Dan Quayle and Sen. Al Gore, who was to succeed him, famously bickered while little-known independent candidate James Stockdale had drawn laughter with the opening: “Who am I? Why am I here?” Bruno also hosted a weekly ABC Radio program, “Hal Bruno’s Washington,” right up to his retirement.
Former ABC News President David Westin told the New York Times that Bruno “was the repository of our institutional memory about political conventions and elections.”
In addition to his long career in journalism, Bruno was an active volunteer firefighter for more than 60 years and was the the chairman emeritus of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).
“Hal Bruno has been phenomenal in his support for the fire service,” said Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF in an interview with Firehouse.com. “He has been instrumental in getting the fire service where it is today.” The NFFF posted the video tribute seen below.
Bruno died Tuesday evening (11/8) at a Maryland hospital from complications resulting from a fall at his home on Friday.