International newsman with Charlotte ties, Barrie Dunsmore, dies in D.C.
Barrie Dunsmore


Longtime international news correspondent Barrie Dunsmore, who recently lived and worked from his home in Charlotte, died Aug. 26 at a Washington, D.C. hospital.

Dunsmore, 79, spent a 30-year career at ABC News, reporting on the major events of his era in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1939, he got his start in Canadian radio and moved to ABC in the mid-1960s, retiring in 1995 after being the network’s senior foreign correspondent.

From his home in Charlotte, he continued to pen commentaries for national and Vermont news media. He was a commentator on Vermont Public Radio for a dozen years and wrote a regular column for the weekend Rutland Herald and Times Argus.

Hearald Editor Emeritus David Moats edited Dunsmore’s columns for the newspapers. Moats wrote a remembrance of Dunsmore last week in which he described how Dunsmore’s pieces would delve into the history that he witnessed firsthand.

“Week by week, stories emerged of astonishing things he had seen or done, revealed in a modestly offhand way. Sometimes he had to be reminded that the anecdotes lodged in his memory were not just everyday events; they were profoundly interesting historical occurrences,” Moats wrote, ticking off some of Dunsmore’s journalist peers: Ted Koppel, Peter Jennings and Marvin Kalb.

“Dunsmore was proud of his place among a generation of reporters who held to the highest professional standards at a time when news was not denigrated as fake but was seen as an essential cornerstone of democracy,” Moats wrote. “That he brought his experience and knowledge to the Herald, Times Argus and the readers of Vermont for so many years was something we are grateful for.”

The Washington Post carried a full obituary for Dunsmore on Aug. 29.

Dunsmore and his wife sold their home in Charlotte in 2016, according to town records. 

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., issued a statement commenting on Dunsmore’s passing saying that he and his wife, Marcelle, were two of many Vermonters “whose lives were brightened” from having known Dunsmore.

“As Vermonters we have been enriched and enlightened, and sometimes challenged, by his perceptive commentaries, in which he shared his experience and his sharp insights, drawn from a remarkable career that spanned the globe. He had a great sense of history, which too often is missing today. I looked forward to each of his essays, which I frequently shared with my staff and others,” the statement said.

“Marcelle and I share our fond remembrances of Barrie with all who knew him, and especially his friends and neighbors in Charlotte. We send our condolences and best wishes to Whitney, Timothy, Leeanne and Campbell, and to their entire family.”

Dunsmore is survived by his wife, Whitney Taylor of Washington, a son, two daughters, two brothers, and four grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Saturday at The National Press Club in Washington D.C.

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