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PiontekThe world of insurance journalism lost one of its most prominent, talented and dedicated players with the retirement last week of Steve Piontek, editor of NU‘s life and health insurance edition.

Steve Piontek was here when I arrived at NU back in 1981, and he retired on April 30, a day short of his 30th anniversary. I have always admired Steve for his relentless honesty and integrity, as he time and again boldly challenged conventional wisdom in the industry.

Steve was never afraid to speak truth to power, whether in his lively magazine columns, or more recently via his blog (http://lifeandhealtheditor.com/). His signature moment came when he ran an editorial back in the mid-1990s calling for insurers to support gun control efforts for the health and safety of their policyholders.

The insurance industry can be a conservative bunch, and the howls of protest were loud when this editorial ran (picked up by the following week by my publication–the property and casualty edition of NU). We even received a death threat credible enough to warrant police protection.

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