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OBITUARY NOTICE: Virgin Islands Media Star Lee Vanterpool Dies in Georgia At 76


CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands has lost one of its premier broadcasting and media experts, said Governor Kenneth Mapp, who extended condolences to the family and many friends of Leon “Lee” Vanterpool. Known popularly as “Lee Vee,” he died at the age of 76.

Vanterpool, who passed away over the weekend in Georgia, had a distinguished history in Virgin Islands media as a news anchor for the former WBNB television station and as a long-time radio personality for WVWI Radio. He was a trained professional dancer and was a fixture for many social and civic events as the master of ceremonies.

Vanterpool remained committed to public service and worked in both the executive and legislative branches of the Virgin Islands Government coordinating media relations and special events. His distinctive voice and his professional demeanor made him a noteworthy example for all broadcasting enthusiasts, said Governor Mapp.

“I knew Lee or Lee V., as he was affectionately called, for many years and had great respect for his talent and professionalism,” Governor Mapp said. “He will be deeply missed by many. I convey profound sympathies to all in mourning and pray that he rests in eternal peace.”

Vanterpool was the public information officer for the V.I. Department of Health under former Gov. Charles Turnbull.

He spent his early years between St. Thomas and Brooklyn, New York and was known for his ultra smooth voice on the radio and TV.

STAR POWER: St. Thomas’ own Lee Vanterpool in his prime on Saturday January 3, 1987. Vanterpool was hosting a UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Telethon for WBNB TV CBS TV 10. The telethon was to raise money and show support for The University of The Virgin Islands. PHOTOS COURTESY: LEE VEE

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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