When we all worked together at Channel 4, reporter David Diaz would approach me from time to time and ask me “where’s your father?” The person he meant was Gabe, and David wasn’t far from wrong.
Here is the Inner Circle’s tribute to Gabe on his 90th birthday in 2014.
To me, Gabe Pressman was more than a colleague or a role model. He was a teacher, a supervisor, an instructor in moral certitudes, and a patient and tolerant man who put up with my BS as much as I put in with his. To me it wasn’t the fierce arguments we would have over story content or the tensions over making harrowing last-minute deadlines or the anger we aroused from nasty bosses and clueless show producers that terrified me about working with Gabe. It was the way he drove — holding the wheel in one hand, a pen and a notebook in the other, and weaving across three lanes of traffic on the West Side Highway while taking notes that totally freaked me out.
Gabe and I had major arguments over politics. They didn’t affect the content of the five years’ worth of stories we worked on together but they could be ferocious. As a young man his worldview was colored by the Depression, the Holocaust, and World War II. My formative influences were the Civil Rights Movement and the War in Vietnam. In many ways his experiences made him a lot more “patriotic” than I and we tended to disagree about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
But none of this stopped us from the memorable work we did together. One of Gabe ‘s missions was to make me a better Jew. While other friends gave me books and CDs at a birthday party, he gave me a book called “How to teach your child about Chanukah.” I don’t think his efforts worked. Gabe, you didn’t make me a better Jew. But you sure as hell made me a better person and for that I am eternally grateful. Rest well, my friend. You made all of us proud.