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Lane Venardos, Former CBS News VP, Dies at 67

The award-winning live news, special events and documentaries producer suffered a heart attack Friday night

Emmy-winning former CBS News vice president Lane Venardos, who produced coverage of such historic events as the Persian Gulf War and China’s Tiananmen Square protests, has died. He was 67.

Venardos suffered a heart attack at his home in Maui, Hawaii, where he retired. 

"Lane was a wonderful and talented man who had a great gift: he had the ability to make everyone around him smile and laugh no matter what the circumstances," CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager said in a statement. "So many of us at CBS News loved him and we will miss him very much."

In 1986, he was named executive producer of Special Events, and was eventually named vice president of Hard News and Special Events. During the Tiananmen Square coverage in 1989 — which interrupted "Dallas" — millions of Americans watched him argue with Chinese officials who wanted to stop his operation's reporting.

His Persian Gulf coverage included "America Tonight," a weeknight news program he created that aired at 11:30 p.m. and was anchored by Charles Kuralt and Lesley Stahl.  

He also supervised coverage of world summits in Moscow, Malta, Iceland, London, Bonn, Rome, Paris, Tokyo and Beijing.

He also produced the CBS News special "Lucy," broadcast on the day of Lucille Ball's death, April 26, 1989. 

He won an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University award for the seminal documentary "48 HOURS on Crack Street," a precursor of "48 Hours" and “48 Hours Mystery."

His work earned him 13 Emmy awards.

He is survived by his wife, Karen (nee Keegan), a brother, and four children.