In Memory

Robyn Leary (Mancini)



Robyn Suzanne Leary Mancini 1950 ~ 2011 Robyn Suzanne Leary Mancini died unexpectedly on June 6th. A filmmaker, writer, producer, journalist, disk jockey, poet, inventor, talk-radio host and entrepreneur, she lived life to the fullest. Born on October 25, 1950, to the former Carol Backman (now Munro) and Arthur Leary, Jr., she spent her early years in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she graduated from East High School and from the University of Utah. Robyn moved to New Orleans in 1979, later residing in Washington, D.C.,
and then in New York City. She has spent the last 15 years in Ossining, New York, with her husband, Joseph Mancini, media relations counsel for the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the nation's largest police union. In New Orleans, Leary's insightful film documentaries on socially relevant issues were regularly featured on CBS affiliate, WWLTV, where she was a writer/producer. She was also public relations director at the distinguished Fairmont Hotel on Baronne Street. In Washington, she was publicist at the American Film Institute and, in a short return to Salt Lake City, director of the Utah Film and Video Society. Over the years, Leary has written for the New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper's Bazaar, DoubleTake Magazine, and other notable publications. She was also known for her probing interviews of newsmakers in which a stunning array of thought-provoking issues were explored with her subjects (among them were author Walker Percy, socio-biologist Edward O. Wilson and public relations pioneer Edward Bernays). More recently, as founder and president of the Recovery Network Foundation, she organized Under the Influence, a film festival that since 2004 has toured the country with a panel discussion of national experts in addiction science, treatment, recovery, public policy, filmmaking, and recovery advocacy following each screening. She also hosted and co-produced Recovery Talk, a twice-weekly public affairs program on Pacifica affiliate WDFH 90.3-FM in New York's Hudson Valley. An inventor of the Oral Cue a stop-smoking aid Leary was awarded a patent for the device in 1990. Preceded in death by her half-brother Mitch Leary, Robyn Leary is survived by her husband; stepsons Douglas and Anthony Mancini; her parents; stepmother Zella Leary; half-sisters Franci Leary and Lynn Leary Meyers; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Her ashes will be scattered on Mt. Timpanogos, a peak in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and a place she loved dearly.

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05/20/12 04:25 PM #1    

Dan Brown

One word to describe Robin was intrepid. Her resume' cetainly reflects this.  She had her setbacks but she would find a way to overcome.  Her wanting to give up smoking led to inventing and marketing a device to help others do the same.  A horrendous event where she was held hostage at gunpoint for 12 hours led to depression and substance abuse, but she overcame that and started a group helping others to deal with life threatening traumas.  She had a radio show on New York City's NPR station where she interviewed people who were survivors of those traumas. These were only two events in a remarkable life.

I talked with Robyn before the reunion a few times and hoped she would come.  The last time I talked with Robyn she had just gotten out of the hospital.  She was recovering from a severe case of shingles that had gotten into her eyes.  It came as a shock to hear that she passed away right after that.

 It was always fun to talk with her to find out where she was living and what new adventure she had undertaken. She lived a life in full.

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