Inner Circle members are sharing their thoughts and memories after the passing of fellow member Stan Brooks. Remembrances range from his scene-stealing roles in many Inner Circle shows, to his long career as one of New York’s top street reporters.
Stan Brooks died Dec. 23, 2013 from lung cancer at 86 years of age. Stan joined the Inner Circle in 1990.
Inner Circle President Beth Karas said “Stan was a devoted member of the Inner Circle; always giving a lot of himself, and never asking for anything in return. He’ll be in our hearts on stage every year.”
Stan’s started his career in journalism in 1952 as a newspaper reporter in Westchester. He also worked about ten years as an editor at Newsday. He was News Director at radio station WINS in 1965 when the station switched from pop music to all news. He assembled much of the original staff and was instrumental in creating the format and style of “all news, all the time.” Stan said he was confident the ground-breaking approach would be a success and that he never worried about “running out of news.”
In recent years, Stan was the Senior Correspondent for WINS, and focused his reporting on news about city government and politics. His voice could be heard on WINS almost every day from 1970 on. He became such a fixture on the City Hall beat that shortly before his death Mayor Michael Bloomberg named the City Hall radio newsroom the “Stan Brooks Radio Room.”
Stan covered every mayor from John V.Lindsay to the election of Bill de Blasio. “I’ve had the privilege of being an eyewitness to so many wonderful things, and so many horrible things,” Stan often said, adding that he thought he was lucky to have the kind of job he loved so passionately.
Among the stories he covered: the blackout in 1965, the Attica prison uprising, riots, the city’s bout with fiscal disaster, the Son of Sam murders, the parade of tall ships at the 1976 bicentennial, and, of course, Sept 11, 2001.
Like WINS, his own reporting style was non-stop. He continued covering City Hall almost until the end, filing his final broadcast on Nov. 20.
“I don’t want to live in Florida,” he said about retiring in an interview. “I like living in New York, and as long as I’m living in New York I want to be active, and I think the most active and the most fun thing I could do is this.”
Upon his death, 1010 WINS broadcast many tributes and stories about his life. One anchor said “things would be very different here from now on.”
But Stan’s first love was his wife, Lynn, who passed away in May 2013. They had three sons, Bennett, George and Rick and seven grandchildren.
Stan was born in the Bronx and attended City College before a stint in the Army. He completed his education at Syracuse University after his discharge from the military.
Besides being a top reporter, Stan was also well-liked and respected as a friend. Millions of New Yorkers knew his voice over the decades. “He’s even liked and respected by a particularly difficult group, and I’m talking about all the former mayors that he covered,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
Stan was also a long-time member and officer of the New York Press Club.