One of the greatest people I’ve ever known passed away last week.
My father called me today to tell me that WNBC reporter Ralph Penza died. For both semesters of my senior year of college, I was an intern at WNBC–first with a consumer reporter, and then, as Ralph’s intern.
Usually, I was told, Ralph only hired on full-time interns from another school. But I guess that someone had talked me up pretty good, because he accepted me as his intern, even though (because of my schedule), I could only work for him three-and-a-half days a week.
Right away, I was amazed by Ralph’s energy, generosity and humor. He was dedicated to getting the story right every day. I learned more from him in a few months than I did in all of my other college classes combined. There were stories that we’d be out covering all day where by the end I would be dead tired, but he’d still be going strong.
I talked to Ralph a few times since moving out here, and he was still reporting stories. Ralph was a great reporter. But more importantly (as I learned), he was a great person too.
Thanks for giving me a chance Ralph.