Jeffrey Tuchman Dies: ‘The Man From Hope’ Director Was 62

Jeffrey Tuchman
Courtesy Tuchman family

Jeffrey Tuchman, a Peabody- and Emmy-winning documentarian whose Bill Clinton bio-film The Man From Hope was shown at the 1992 Democratic Convention, died September 2 of pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 62.

His death was confirmed by his family.

Tuchman’s nearly 30-year career in documentary film included titles for A&E, PBS, The History Channel, NHK, ABC, Discovery/TLC, Court TV, CBS, MSNBC and HBO. His 2005 History Channel hourlong docu Save Our History: Voices Of Civil Rights won both a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award.

Other notable credits include the four-part 2003 History Channel docuseries Mavericks, Miracles,  And Medicine. He was the senior producer of California Connected from 2005-2006, the public television news magazine produced by KCET, KVIE, KPBS, and KQED. He was working with KCET on several projects when he died, and was a consultant to The California Endowment.

Tuchman’s breakthrough, though, came with ’92 Clinton biography The Man From Hope, a film that did much to introduce the future president to the world. Footage was later distributed on VHS tapes as part of the Clinton-Gore 1992 campaign.

Tuchman also served as a media consultant to non-profits and political campaigns, including for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. He wrote and lectured extensively on documentary filmmaking, including seven years on the faculty of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

According to friends, both Bill and Hillary Clinton sent letters to Tuchman after he fell ill, and the letters were read to him just before he died by friend and colleague Mandy Grunwald.

Tuchman’s parents were Auschwitz survivors, and his father Marcel Tuchman is the author of the 2010 memoir Remember: My Stories Of Survival And Beyond. The elder Tuchman recently retired as a professor of medicine at New York University medical school, and had been working with Jeffrey on a documentary. He survives his son, as does Jeffrey’s brother Peter Tuchman, sister-in-law Lisa Zumwalt, a nephew and niece, and girlfriend Jackie Tepper.


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