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Lester M. Crystal

Lester M. Crystal (BSJ56, MSJ57) is a member of the inaugural class of the Medill Hall of Achievement of 1997.

Crystal was president of MacNeil Lehrer Productions until his retirement in 2010. Hired in 1983 to lead the transition from the half-hour MacNeil/Lehrer Report to the debut of the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, Crystal created the nation's first hour-long evening newscast. In 2005 he was named the president of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions.

Crystal was president of NBC News from 1977 to 1979 and executive producer of "NBC Nightly News" from 1973 to 1976. Crystal joined NBC in 1963 to produce its Chicago affiliate’s nightly news and its Emmy-winning documentary series, "Dateline Chicago." In 1965, he joined "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" as Chicago regional manager, moving from there to New York in 1967 to serve as the program’s news editor, then as associate producer. He was the program’s producer from 1968 to 1970. He also served on Medill’s Board of Advisers.

Crystal died in 2020.