“I Will Always Remember Those Words and the Underlying Meaning”

After Ron Cohen posted his story about how UPI covered the 1981 shooting of President Reagan, Dean Reynolds, the UPI reporter who was with the President at the Washington Hilton that day, sent this follow-up note:

I remember that day like it was yesterday. And I have one small addendum since you’re writing for history, boss. My first call to UPI was answered by Eliot Brenner, who was on the desk. And my first words, I believe, were “Shots were fired at President Reagan as he left a Washington hotel.”

Eliot was calm and collected as I went on describing the scene. I remember momentarily losing my composure at the enormity of what I was dictating, “Get back! Get Back!” yelled the Secret Service agents. Eliot could hear the emotion in my voice and said, “Steady partner.”

I will always remember those words and the underlying meaning—that we were all partners every day at UPI.

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