Obituaries

Larry Stephens, 71, former AP chief of communications

WASHINGTON — Larry W. Stephens, who helped the Associated Press usher in a new era of technology from old-style teletype machines to modern-day satellite dishes and high speed delivery, died Friday after a battle with cancer.

Mr. Stephens, 71, was the longtime chief of communications for the AP in Washington.

He began his 34-year career at the company as a technician in New York in 1968. Within months, he was promoted to assistant chief of communications and a short time later, in 1971, Mr. Stephens left New York to take the helm of the AP’s communications operation in the nation’s capital.

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Mr. Stephens was described by colleagues as the go-to-guy for fixing just about anything.

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‘‘Larry was the ultimate AP guy, the man who made the Washington bureau run,’’ said former Washington bureau chief Walter Mears.

Mr. Stephens leaves Judy, his wife of 48 years; their daughter, Carrie Stephens Case; her husband, Scott; and grandsons David and Stephen.