SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
NPR has lost a friend and an old colleague. News reached us this week that David Rector died last month at the age of 69. He'd suffered an aortic dissection years ago that left him a quadriplegic.
David was a calm and kind presence in the chaos of the newsroom, producing stories for All Things Considered and WEEKEND EDITION. He was blessed with a deep, smooth jazz voice and total cut-by-cut recall of almost every movie ever made. He was the local oracle for all questions about popular culture.
After he was disabled, David fought to regain his ability to speak and move. He also succeeded in challenging and overturning a court decision that took away his right to vote, and that helped restore voting rights for many people with legal guardians.
On his last day, David played the Beatles song "The End" for his fiancee Roz Alexander-Kasparik and those gathered around him. The song concludes, and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. David Rector gave the world a lot of love. Our condolences to David's family and all who knew him.
(SOUNDBITE OF THE BEATLES SONG, "THE END") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.