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Basil Hero

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Basil Hero
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Basil Hero.jpeg Basil Hero.jpeg
BornApril 9, 1955 (Age 64 years)
BaptisedApril 9, 1955 (Age 64 years)
NationalityNew York
Other names
EducationTufts University
Alma mater
Known for

Basil Hero (born April 9, 1955) is an American author and an award winning former investigative reporter for NBC and CBS News television stations.[1][2][3] After a long career as a media entrepreneur, he wrote The Mission Of A Lifetime: Lessons From The Men Who Went To The Moon, which chronicles the life lessons humanity can learn from the lunar voyages of the Apollo astronauts.[4][5][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Hero was born in New York City, the son of Dr. Byron A. Hero, a WW II veteran, who was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in General George S. Patton’s Third Army in Europe.[8] His mother, Angela Constantinides Hero, was a professor of Byzantine History at the City University of New York, and the author of four books on monasticism.[9][10] Hero was educated at Choate Rosemary Hall,an independent preparatory school in Wallingford, CT, where he graduated with honors in history.[11] He earned his bachelor's degree from Tufts University in political science.



Hero started his journalism career in 1980 at KNOE-TV,[12] the CBS affiliate in Monroe, LA where he served as a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor. In 1981 Hero moved to WMC-TV,[13] the NBC station in Memphis where his investigative work focused on financial corruption and exclusive stories on the indictment of U.S. Congressman Harold Ford, Sr. While at the station, Hero created the Good News Video Magazine which he licensed to WMC-TV, WWL-TV in New Orleans, WSMV-TV in Nashville and WNBC-TV in New York.[14] The free, ten-minute video magazine, distributed through Blockbuster Entertainment, offered viewers consumer advice on such varied topics as financial investments and health care. Hero subsequently rebranded the program as Hot Pix and licensed it to the CBS-Television Network, which promoted its fall television programs in Blockbuster video stores across the country. [15][16]Comedian David Letterman served as the first host of Hot Pix, which also promoted Hollywood’s first-run theatrical films and music videos from leading musicians.[17]

Media Entrepreneur[edit]

After selling the company in 1996, Hero founded the Broadway Theatre Archive (later known as Broadway Digital Entertainment, BDE)[18] acquiring the rights to what the New York Times called "television's crown Jewels" — 300 primetime television specials from the vaults of PBS, NBC, CBS and ABC, that included such masterworks as The Iceman Cometh starring Jason Robards (and Robert Redford in one of his first television appearances).[19] The stage adaptations were distributed on DVD and re-broadcast on PBS and television networks around the world. After digitally preserving the broadcast masters, Hero donated the entire library of restored television classics to the Museum Of Television & Radio (now known as The Paley Center For Media).[20] Upon selling BDE in 2006, Hero began devoting himself to nonprofit causes. He joined the Asia Society as Vice President of Marketing & Communications, helping the society in its mission to promote mutual understanding among people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context.

In 2015, Hero became the executive director of Positive Directions, The Center For Prevention & Counseling, a nonprofit mental health agency dedicated to preventing substance abuse amongst students in middle schools and high schools in Connecticut's Fairfield County.[21][22][23] Hero now devotes himself full-time to writing non-fiction books.


Hero is passionate about the arts and helping young people realize their academic potential. He serves on the boards of, which helps students achieve their life goals through personalized statements illustrated on 9x12-inch Dream Flags distributed nationwide;[24] The Theatre Museum, whose mission is to preserve, protect and perpetuate the legacy of theatre in America; and serves on the board of advisors to The Clarion Music Society, whose performances using period instruments has been called “legendary” by The New Yorker.[25]

Personal Life[edit]

Hero has two daughters, Alexandra and Ariane. He now lives in New York with his wife Dr. Marianne Sommerville, an Obstetrician-Gynecologist specializing in maternal safety programs for the labor and delivery units of major hospitals in New York.[26] Hero is a survivor of the September 11 attacks on New York City that destroyed the offices of Broadway Digital, which contained 35,000 historic still photographs capturing some of the great moments on the American stage.[27][28] The New York Times coverage of the photo archive's destruction led theater photographers from around the country, who read the story, to make copies of their original negatives to restore most of the lost photographs.



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