Philip O’Connor, a television producer for CBS News and PBS, dies at 72

October 1, 2013

Philip O’Connor, a television producer for CBS News and PBS, died Sept. 15 at his home in Arlington. He was 72.

He died of mesothelioma, a form of cancer often associated with exposure to asbestos, said his wife, Margot Cella.

Since 1998, Mr. O’Connor had been a PBS producer, contributing and editing scripts, supervising other producers and coming up with story ideas, including personal profiles. His work included the PBS “Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly” program.

Philip Thomas O’Connor was born in Evanston, Ill., and graduated in 1963 from Loyola University in Chicago. He was then a writer and producer at United Press International and CBS News, working in the New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington bureaus. He had lived in the Washington area since 1979.

Over a 25-year period with CBS, Mr. O’Connor covered political campaigns, the American Indian protests at Wounded Knee, S.D, the civil war in El Salvador and American relations with Cuba.

His first marriage, to Ellen Murphy, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Margot Cella of Arlington; two children from his first marriage, Thomas O’Connor of Los Angeles and Susan O’Connor of San Francisco; three sisters; and two brothers.

— Bart Barnes

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