Bud Greenspan, 84, the filmmaker whose documentaries often soared as triumphantly as the Olympic athletes he chronicled for more than six decades, died of complications of Parkinson's disease Saturday at his New York City home.
"Bud was a storyteller first and foremost. He never lost his sense of wonder," said his companion, Nancy Beffa.
Even as controversies over politics, performance-enhancing drugs, and commercialism increasingly vied for attention on the planet's grandest sporting stage, Mr. Greenspan remained uncompromising about his focus on the most inspirational stories.
"I spend my time on about the 99 percent of what's good about the Olympics and most people spend 100 percent of their time on the one percent that's negative," he once told ESPN.com.
Mr. Greenspan, whose given first name was Joseph, received lifetime-achievement awards from the Directors Guild of America and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, as well as a Peabody and the Olympic Order award. His best-known work was The Olympiad, the culmination of 10 years of research and visits to more than 30 nations. The 10-part series he produced was aired in more than 80 countries.
As a 21-year-old radio reporter, Mr. Greenspan filed his first Olympic story from a phone booth at Wembley stadium at the 1948 London Games. He cut a distinct figure at nearly every Summer and Winter Games afterward. His most recent work, about the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games - which he attended - will be ready for release in the coming weeks. - AP