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Richard Kay Smith

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Richard Kay Smith

Khai Le

Noted cameraman Richard Kay Smith passed away peacefully at his home in Studio City on Thursday December 21st, surrounded by those he loved. Dick, affectionately called "Kay" by family members, was born and raised in Redlands, California. His father, Malcom, was a coach; his mother, Gertrude, was a church soloist. Kay was recruited by Stanford University to play football. While attending Stanford, he was drafted by the U.S. Army and served his country during the Korean War.

He returned to Stanford and completed a degree in journalism, then moved to Burbank and joined NBC News in 1958. If you watched TV news in the 1960s-1990s, you undoubtedly saw Kay's work. During his 36-year career with NBC, he received numerous awards, including two national Emmys and a Golden Mike.

In 2012, he earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles. Kay married Ann Wellen on February 7, 1959 in Pasadena. Family was the central part of Kay's life. He is survived by his wife, Ann; four children: William (Rose Hayden), Debra (Rick Simon), Michael and David; three grandchildren, Natalie, Taylor and Emma; his extended Wellen and Smith family; and many close friends. 

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 31, 2017.