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Friday, February 10, 2012

Las Vegas Sun's Hank Greenspun Remembered in Documentary Film

Greenspun college screens film on namesake Default Thumbnail

The Rebel Yell

Admirers hail life of Las Vegas publisher; no critics included

Hank Greenspun is an iconic figure said Lee Bernick, interim dean of the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.

Bernick introduced the documentary Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story, which premiered on Tuesday in the Greenspun Hall Auditorium.

The film narrated Herman Han Greenspuns life and accomplishments.

The movie began Hank Greenspuns story in Brooklyn, then documented his move to Las Vegas and his collaboration with famous characters such as Benjamin BugsySeigel, Howard Hughes and Frank Sinatra.

The documentary also chronicled Hank Greenspun's impact in world-famous events and issues such as Watergate, McCarthyism, the Palestine embargo and smuggling arms to the newly created state of Israel.

It dealt with breaking racial boundaries on the Strip, Israel peace treaties and nuclear testing.
The film also told the story of how Hank Greenspun came to own The Las Vegas Sun, and a television and radio station and how he bought land and developed the area of Henderson, Nev. known as Green Valley.

Hank Greenspun wrote the column Where I Stand in the Sun, which his son, Brian Greenspun, currently writes.

Brian Greenspun said that helping Israel was his father's greatest achievement. He called the effort Hank Greenspun’s “Red Badge of Courage.

The student organization Hillel Jewish Student Center hosted the screening with the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.

I wanted our Hillel students to appreciate the fact that a leader in their local community helped give birth to the modern state of Israel said Hillel director Gil Kahn. “But it was his life story as whole that reminded [us] that we must always stand by our conviction and our sense of justice.

Brian Greenspun thinks of his father as a modern day hero.

“The message [of the film] is that anyone, if they stand up for what they believe in, could be a hero he said.

The film conveyed this message by showing the strength of Hank Greenspun's conviction even as he pursued illegal activities.

Brian Greenspun said that only one critic was interviewed for the project  officer Joe Yoblansky, a former FBI agent.

Brian Greenspun claimed that Yoblansky had a personal and professional feud with his father.
After the interview, it was deemed that the footage of Yoblansky did not fit in with the tone of the documentary, so it was left out of the final copy.

Where I Stand is not available for purchase, but the Greenspun family have traveled around showing the documentary in different forums.

We wanted a place to honor our parents, Brian Greenspun said about the donation for the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. We couldn't think of any better way than educating Las Vegas youth. Hank always said never be afraid to stand up when you think you're right, Brian Greenspun said.

“The world needs more Hank Greenspuns Khan said.

Brian Greenspun's daughter, Amy Greenspun, helped produce the film. It will screen again at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival on March 14.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rochel Leah Goldblatt is a member of a Jewish student organization at UNLV.
Contact Rochel Leah Goldblatt at

 The Rebel Yell

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