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Courage Quote of the Day

Lee Berger

The Origins of Humanity

I ended up in Savannah, Georgia, and I walked into a local TV station and said, "May I see the manager?" And he said -- well, the secretary for some reason said, "No." And I was standing there devastated and he walked by and he said, "Who's this?" And I said, "I'm Lee Berger and I'd like to work for you for free." And he went, "What?" And I said, "Really, I'm just fascinated by this." I'd had one video course, and I loved it, in college during that period. And he said, "I can't let you work for free." He said, "But you know, we've got the worst job in this place, which is the studio cameraman thing. I'm desperate to fill this. If you're willing to work for minimum wage and learn that thing, I'll do it." Three months later I was the head cameraman in that division. Four months later I was in charge of -- I was in the news camera division because I saw how exciting it was. I ended up in some wild things. I got hired by the leading station within a couple of months. Started the first night news program in Savannah, Georgia. Ended up saving a woman's life because I was caught in a weird circumstance where the police had gone up river in the Savannah River when they heard that a woman had fallen in the river. And I ended up downstream -- that's part of my Eagle Scout -- where I ended up downstream all alone, and there went a woman going by. And my job was to film and I had to make a decision instantly: film this woman -- but the next stop is the Atlantic Ocean -- or not. And I dropped my camera, which they were very fragile and very expensive back then, and jumped in and brought her in. And that was an amazing moment for me because it brought a lot of attention to me nationally. It occurred just after an event where some reporters had filmed a woman who'd set herself on fire. I ended up as this young guy amongst professional reporters in this national debate of right or wrong if the press intervenes. I wasn't prepared for it. I realized how woefully unprepared I was to suddenly be launched into the profession of journalism.
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