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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the Golden Globes, has lost one of its longest-standing and most respected members.
Yoram Kahana, an Israeli journalist who joined the HFPA in 1963, died Tuesday of heart failure, according to an email sent to colleagues and friends by HFPA president Ali Sar. He was 82.
Born on Jan. 1, 1939, in Tel Aviv, Israel (Palestine, at the time), Kahana ventured into journalism while still in his teens, writing and photographing for Ha’olam Hazeh. His girlfriend’s father owned an outdoor cinema, for which he helped to compose English subtitles.
Kahana served in the Israeli Army from 1955-57, then spent a semester at the University of Jerusalem before writing to Columbia University to announce that he would be attending college there in fall 1958. He took a boat to Canada and made his way to New York, where he was admitted; after a semester, he transferred to UCLA.
At a UCLA party in 1961, he met the woman, Peggy, who would become his wife. They married a year later and began collaborating on educational films and film strips under the banner of Kahana Film Productions. Both continued at UCLA after completing their undergraduate studies, obtaining master’s degrees in film. He also earned a master’s degree in journalism.
Throughout the ’60s, Kahana worked as a photographer for the Los Angeles Free Press, and his images have appeared on the covers of magazines and albums.
The Kahanas became the parents of two daughters, Tal and Paz, around the same time that Shooting Star International, an international photo agency for celebrity at-home and studio photography, was established. Kahana spent the ensuing decades as a photographer for the operation.
He was invited to join the HFPA in 1963 and held numerous board positions over the years while also working the red carpet at many Golden Globe Awards. “Until his last days he remained committed in trying to steer the HFPA toward reform,” his family said.
With his death, the HFPA now has 85 members.
Kahana traveled to more than 100 countries and every continent. A longstanding member of the Society of American Travel Writers, he spoke five languages and was a voracious reader. And he championed charities including the L.A. Conservancy, Pablove, Doctors Without Borders, the ACLU and Arab-Israeli Peace.
In addition to his wife and daughters, survivors include his grandchildren, Jacob, Goldie, Ben, Nathan and Noa.
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