Lou Reda, renowned local producer of 100s of documentaries, dies at 92
Lehigh Valley Live
By Steve Novak
September 30, 2017
Lou Reda, though known for his documentaries on war, was a happy man.
Even when suffering from dementia, the Phillipsburg-area native would laugh and smile, said his son Scott Reda. Though he was retired, he would come to work -- the Emmy-winning Lou Reda Productions with offices in Easton and New York City -- and smoke cigars with his boys.
"He never spoke badly about anyone and he would help everyone," Scott said. "He was a huge inspiration to all of us."
The production company said goodbye to the boss Saturday morning, when Lou Reda died from a sudden illness. He was 92.
Reda, a World War II Navy veteran who lived in Lopatcong Township for decades, produced hundreds of documentaries for A&E and the History Channel in the '80s and '90s, his son said.
Lou Reda Productions, based in an old Easton church, started in 2003 and has become a generational business. The company's website provides a brief history:
Lou Reda, the company's founder, first made a national name for himself in 1982 when he executive produced the CBS miniseries "The Blue and Gray" (starring Gregory Peck as Abraham Lincoln). Over the next 30 years, the company produced more than 500 hours of programming for US and international television networks, garnering immense praise in the form of a People's Choice Award, a Peabody Award and eight Emmy nominations (including one win). Among the company's recent productions are the event television series "WWII in HD" (narrated by Gary Sinise) and "Vietnam in HD" (narrated by Michael C. Hall), produced for History and "Brothers In War" (narrated by Charlie Sheen), produced for National Geographic.
The company also was involved in the community, making films about Bethlehem and, most recently, Phillipsburg.
Reda also boasted honorary doctorates from Lafayette College and Centenary University -- "Not bad for an eighth-grade education," his son quipped.
As private funeral arrangements are made, Scott Reda said the family business will continue to carry on his legacy.
"Right until the end, he was happy," Reda said. "He was funny. He was a good guy.
"That's his legacy: He was a good guy."
Born: 1925, Phillipsburg, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 9/30/2017, Lopatcong Township, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Lou Reda’s westerns – producer:
The Blue and the Gray (TV) – 1982
Time Machine: When Cowboys Were King (TV) - 2003