Larry Zolf

Larry Zolf (July 19, 1934 – March 14, 2011) was a Canadian journalist and commentator. Zolf was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Larry introduced me to Moses Znaimer." Do you know Ledrew I got him out of jail" Larry wrote a letter to the parole board when I was busted and never let me forget it. 
I met Larry at the Old Pilot back in the 60's. We used to have a few drinks occasionaly and had many late dinners at Kwong Chows. The barbs were obligatory. You had to have thick skin to dine with Larry but what a treat. He knew politics inside and out and he had all the real stories.
I last talked to him just after Peter Czowski died.I called to find out if knew anything about the funeral.
"LeDrew where the fuck you been? "Czowski! whatta calling me for I never hung out with those guys." 
"So you Ok?good, Keeping out of jail, good. I gotta go I'm writing.

Larry Zolf (July 19, 1934 – March 14, 2011)[1] was a Canadian journalist and commentator.

LARRY ZOLF Veteran journalist, author and political pundit extraordinaire Larry Zolf passed away peacefully on Monday, March 14, 2011 at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Known variously as a 'national treasure,' 'Canadian icon,' 'political guru' and 'CBC legend,' Larry irreverently provoked and engaged Canada's political and social culture for over 40 years, and his presence in the Canadian public sphere will be sorely missed. Larry was born in North End, Winnipeg in 1934, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Winnipeg and did graduate work in history at the University of Toronto. He joined the CBC in 1962 and worked as a reporter, producer, critic and radio and TV host on several shows, including the legendary current-affairs TV show This Hour Has Seven Days as well as Sunday, Weekend, and Take 30. His documentary on the 1964 Toronto printers' strike won the Anik Award in 1965 and was rebroadcast as one of the 100 best documentaries at the National Film Board's 50th birthday celebration. He is the author of several books, including Dance of the Dialectic, Just Watch Me: Remembering Pierre Trudeau, Survival of the Fattest: An Irreverent View of the Senate and Scorpions for Sale, which was shortlisted for a Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Until the very end of his life, Larry's engagement with thinking and writing and Canadian public culture never waned. In the fall of 2010, his memoir, The Dialectical Dancer, was released. Larry leaves behind his wife, Barbara Diakopoulou, his children David and Rachel Zolf, his former wife Patricia Zolf and nieces and nephews Stephen, Janice, Sharon, Allan, Barbara, Audrey and Susan, as well as many friends, colleagues and admirers. Funeral service will be held at MOUNT PLEASANT CEMETERY VISITATION CENTRE, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto (east gate entrance, north of St. Clair Ave., 416-485-5572) on Thursday, March 17 at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Larry's name can be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Information and condolences available at www.etouch.ca 
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thestar/obituary.aspx?pid=149360388#sthash.vTcOlBV0.dpuf

Rex Murphy: Remembering Larry Zolf


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The news of Larry Zolf’s passing comes with an extra sting for me. I can’t claim anything like a full friendship with him over his many years at CBC, some of which coincided with my own wanderings through the corporation. But I did, even so far back, work on a show over which he was both one of the producers and a writer. It was called Up-Canada (only TV archeologists will recall it) and was intended to be a news plus satire show – a division of intent the show never really conquered. It’s difficult to be grim and foreboding (which was what most period documentaries were) and then light, zany and blisteringly funny in the few spots that remained. But it was just such a juxtaposition Zolf was master of – he could leap from idle absurdity to high reflection in a flash. It’s piercing now to recollect that such a rare spirit has gone.
The Zolf of that period was a revelation: he had a high-powered, high-speed mind that raced through ideas and topics and stories with ferocious energy, with Zolf himself (vainly) trying in his free-association style monologues to, if I can put it this way, keep up with himself. He was funny, deliciously well informed on all political and media gossip, and took from his own talk an almost secondary energy. You – we – went to find Larry to have an experience, not a conversation. But, and let me be clear on this – he wasn’t showing off, or demanding the spotlight. Larry was a one-of-a-kind talker; to some measure this was what most – not defined – but marked him. I can’t remember conversations such as those I had with Larry from anyone else, or anything close to them.
They were a mixture of sophisticated commentary, free riffs on some personality, dips into literature or philosophy, tranches of the most ribald sexual gossip and political scandal – all delivered at 200 words a minute and sparkling with one-liners and the most congenial outbursts of laughter. Behind, or in addition to that persona, was a very fine mind and an extremely gifted pen. Zolf never really – in my judgement – gave full evidence of his talents as a writer, though his book on Trudeau (for whom he had an fascination – they had met, Zolf if I recall correctly even having written a speech or two for the “philosopher”) – called Dance of the Dialectic – was a singular, even unique, take by a Canadian journalist on Canadian politics. It buzzed with that high-frequency Zolf intelligence, never at rest with a single idea or impression, but creating through the energy of its prose and the drive of its semi-philosophic framing (I’m writing from memory) a wonderful portrait of both Trudeau and Zolf.
Larry Zolf was warm, intelligent far beyond the usual measure, highly cultured and gifted with an overflowing love of story and humour – truly one of a kind. He was larger than any job he fell into, and from his earliest broadcast debut – the famous This Hour has Seven Days – through his entire career he was a (here’s that word again) singular presence and personality. A man of wit, style and passion – I’ll miss him.
National Post
Rex Murphy offers commentary weekly on CBC TV’s The National, and is host of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup.

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