George Page, 71, creator and narrator of PBS' signature Nature series, died of cancer June 28 in Equinunk, Pa.
Ill health had prompted his departure from the show in 1998. Nature, the hour show that looked at news of the natural world, debuted in 1982 and launches its 25th season this fall.
“The world has lost a great storyteller, and I have lost a dear friend," said PBS President Paula Kerger. She is former COO of WNET New York, which produced the show and where Page spent the majority of his TV career.
His is the second WNET and Nature-related loss for PBS in as many weeks. Veteran PBS producer and station executive Bill Lamb, who headed production of Nature when he was at WNET, died June 17.
Page spent 26 years at WNET, including serving as director of science and natural history programs.
Page's broadcasting career, which spanned more than 50 years, included local station and network news--he was foreign correspondent, bureau chief and producer for NBC News--and PBS executive posts before he joined WNET in 1972.
In 1980, he began developing Nature, which grew to be one of PBS' highest rate and most popular shows.
He started in radio at age 14 where, ironically, at least in this context, one of his duties was hosting “Obituary Column of the Air.”
He is survived by his partner, Dr. Dennis De Stefano.