Kevin Delany, who helped rescue more than 100 Vietnamese ABC employees and their family members as Saigon fell in 1975, has passed away at age 87. The former ABC News journalist had been battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Delany served as an ABC News bureau chief in Asia in the 1970s and was in Saigon in April 1975 when the North Vietnamese were approaching the city. His heroic actions included arranging the U.S. Embassy helping ABC employees and their families escape.
“He was always a gentleman and what he did to save our Saigon staff was heroic and amazing,” ABC News vice president Bob Murphy said. “It set a standard for professional responsibility and human care that we have tried to follow ever since.”
Delany joined CBS News in the 1950s as a reporter/assignment editor before eventually becoming the network’s Hong Kong correspondent. He eventually took a break from journalism, working for the Peace Corps, State Department and Capitol Hill before returning to TV News in 1971, joining ABC as bureau chief in Saigon. Delany would return to Washington to head up ABC’s Watergate coverage before heading back to Saigon in 1975.
His return occurred just in time to save his colleagues.
“No one could predict what would happen after a North Vietnamese takeover, but everyone assumed that anyone who had worked with Americans would be dealt with harshly,” Delany wrote in 2006 in an alumni publication for Williams College. “The decision was made that ABC wished to assist all Vietnamese who had worked so earnestly and in many cases at great risk during the war years.”