- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2006

George Page, creator and on-air host of the weekly television series “Nature,” died June 28 of cancer at his home in Equinunk, Pa. He was 71.

Mr. Page’s journalism and broadcasting career spanned more than 50 years. But he was best known as the creator and voice of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning wildlife and natural history series, which debuted in 1982 and was produced for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) by Thirteen/WNET New York.

Mr. Page introduced and narrated each episode of “Nature” until an illness prompted his retirement from television in 1998.

He then devoted his time to the completion of a book, “Inside the Animal Mind,” which explored the latest research and findings about animal intelligence and self-awareness and became the basis of a three-part “Nature” miniseries.

“The world has lost a great storyteller ,” said Paula A. Kerger, president and chief executive officer of PBS and former chief operating officer at Thirteen/WNET. “Perhaps no one else in the United States has done more to increase our appreciation and understanding of the world and its inherent splendor and majesty.”

During his 26 years at Thirteen/WNET, Mr. Page served as director of science and natural history programming, and was responsible for such notable series as “Travels,” “The Brain,” “The Mind” and “Medicine at the Crossroads.”

Mr. Page also played a role in cultural and entertainment programming at Thirteen. He was executive producer of “The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn” and the Emmy-winning “Fred Astaire: Change Partners and Dance.”

Born in the rural community of Hartwell, Ga., Mr. Page became a keen observer of the natural world from an early age. His powerful and distinctive voice led him into local radio when he was only 14.

Mr. Page moved to local television as an on-camera newsman in Atlanta, reporting on the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. He then began a tenure with NBC News, where he served as a foreign correspondent, acting bureau chief and producer.

Mr. Page covered the Vietnam War and other major stories of that period. He worked for PBS in the District in a variety of executive positions before joining Thirteen/WNET in 1972.

Mr. Page was a graduate of Emory University.

Among his many volunteer activities, he served on the boards of the inner-city nonprofit group the Natural Guard.

Mr. Page is survived by his lifelong partner, Dr. Dennis De Stefano of Equinunk, and their two canine companions.

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