> Update: 4:21pm: ABCNews.com has an obituary by correspondent Steve Osunsami with comments from Ron Claiborne…
ABC News producer Eddie Pinder passed away this morning, after experiencing complications from a heart bypass surgery last month.
“Eddie started his career at ABC News in January of 1997 as an off-air reporter,” David Westin wrote in a note to staffers today. “He was promoted to New York Bureau Producer in 1999 and then to Producer for ‘World News Tonight’ in 2002.”
“Eddie distinguished himself and all of ABC News by his work, including his “Master Teacher” series for “Nightline” on the experiences of a first-year public school teacher dealing with at-risk fourth-graders in Red Hook, Brooklyn; his reporting on linguistic profiling for “20/20,” “World News Tonight,” and ABCNews.com; and his work on the “America in Black & White” series for “Nightline,” telling the story of a man who discovers for the first time that he is the son of an African-American.
Eddie received many awards for his work here, including the Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, the RTNDA Unity Award, and the NABJ Salute to Excellence Award (four times).
Everyone who knew Eddie loved him, and just about all of us knew him. We each have our own special memories. He was truly larger than life. He was intelligent, passionate, and engaging. He was an avid fan of music and had a beautiful singing voice that he used for a time in his own acapella gospel music group. But most of all, he had a rare spirit that filled a room and made a lasting impression on anyone he touched. We are better for having had Eddie in our midst, which makes our loss all the greater.”