Larry Bensky, the signature voice of KPFA news radio, dead at 87

Berkeley-based activist journalist moderated live radio during some of the nation’s most turbulent times


Larry Bensky, who brought an activist’s level of devotion and a historian’s attention to detail to the work of radio journalism, died May 19 in Berkeley. He was 87.

The signature voice of the progressive station KPFA, Bensky was most famous for his live broadcasts of the Iran-Contra hearings of the late 1980s, which won him the prestigious George Polk Award.

But he also covered the confirmation hearings of four U.S. Supreme Court justices, the 9/11 Commission hearings and innumerable demonstrations and protests, earning the reverence of the San Francisco Bay Area’s large leftist community.

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