For 14 years, we were lucky enough to work side-by-side with 60 Minutes editor Elizabeth Sweetnam, who we lost to breast cancer a year ago this week.
Elizabeth -- or Liz to those who knew her well -- worked on stories of all kinds, from pieces on Italian mama's boys to whistleblowers in the U.S. Air Force. And though time has passed since she died, her memory lives on in these hilarious and thought-provoking stories she edited.
To honor her, we have selected some of her favorites and posted them below. Take a look.
Around the office, Liz is best known for her work on a story titled "Bluejay," a 2004 profile of Jay Greenberg who, at age 12, had written five full-length symphonies, a feat that put him in the same league as composers like Mozart. Greenberg told the story's producer, Bill Owens, that he signed his pieces "Bluejay" because that particular bird was small and made a lot of noise -- just like him.
Owens, who now serves as the executive editor of the broadcast, told 60 Minutes Overtime that some of the best moments in the story were Liz's ideas, including a scene where the child prodigy describes how compositions come to him while walking around Manhattan. Liz beautifully wove the sit-down interview with footage of Greenberg humming and dancing through the streets to the tune of music in his head.
"She did all of that on her own and it was brilliant," Owens says. "Selfishly, I was just lucky to spend so much time with her, putting the story together. We laughed a lot."
Another story Liz was fond of was a 2001 Emmy-nominated report on Italian "mammoni" or "mama's boys" -- except, these weren't boys at all, they were men in their 30s and 40s with jobs, girlfriends, and a desire to live at home with their doting mamas.
The story's producer Shari Finkelstein remembers Liz's reaction when she was presented with the video footage.
"All I remember is Liz's warm smile and her big, hearty laugh," Finkelstein says. "She was a fantastic editor -- always with great ideas and a completely collegial way of working -- but more than that, she was a smart, funny, generous, wonderful woman. There was nothing I think she enjoyed more than a world full of handsome, clever Italian men who lived at home with their mothers, ironing their underwear for them!"
In 2010, Liz helped launch 60 Minutes Overtime, delivering original 60 Minutes content to the web.
Some of her stories were light and entertaining, like the one she did on Eminem. In this Correspondent Candid, Anderson Cooper describes how he was called out for his white hair when he asked the rapper to do some freestyle rhyming.
Liz was also passionate about giving voice to the voiceless and when given the opportunity to do an Overtime story about homeless children in America, she approached it with passion, says Stephanie Palewski, a fellow editor at 60 Minutes, and Liz's close friend.
"Liz cared deeply and lovingly for victims of social injustice, so it's no surprise that a story about homeless children that she edited for 60 Minutes Overtime was her favorite," Palewski says.
The same was true when Liz edited an Overtime story about a group of U.S. Air Force pilots who were breaking their silence -- in uniform -- to expose the dangers associated with a fleet of F-22 aircrafts.
"These stories demanded public scrutiny and that was her mission -- her reports were alive, seamlessly presented, and informed with her special passion," Palewski says.