The first time I interviewed Shimon Peres, the Nobel Prize winner, was in Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War when he was information minister.
The last time was in his Tel Aviv office in 2007 just before he was elected president by the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.
But we met and talked many times in between when I was NBC News bureau chief in Tel Aviv and later in Miami. Every time he came to South Florida, I was given immediate access to a man who over the decades became a friend, not just an interview subject.
The “warrior for peace” was there when Israel was born in 1948 and held nearly every high office in his country. He influenced 10 U.S. presidents on Israeli policy.
This legendary giant of the peace process would not be discouraged about its prospects. Against all odds and reason, he never gave up hope that peace between Arab and Jew could be achieved.
This selfless servant of his people will be sorely missed.
Ike Seamans, Miami