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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.

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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.

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

‘‘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.

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