Saturday, May 11, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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J. Leonard Reinsch, Ex-Media Executive


BALTIMORE - J. Leonard Reinsch, longtime Cox Broadcasting Corp. chairman who advised Winston Churchill on his "Iron Curtain" speech and John F. Kennedy in the 1960 televised presidential debates, died Thursday. He was 82.

Mr. Reinsch, of Marietta, Ga., died at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

He was Cox Broadcasting's chairman from 1939 until he retired in 1973. He advised four presidents on media matters: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He also aided losing candidate Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956.

Mr. Reinsch advised Winston Churchill on his radio speech from Independence, Mo., in March 1946, in which the former British prime minister coined the phrase "Iron Curtain."

In the 1960 presidential campaign, he knew that Richard Nixon had injured a knee when he struck it on a car door, so he suggested that Nixon and Kennedy stand for their first hour-long debate. To Mr. Reinsch's surprise, Nixon agreed.

During his years as Cox Broadcasting's chief, he also was top executive of WSB Radio in Atlanta. And he helped start WSB-TV in Atlanta, the South's first TV station, in 1948, and became its top


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