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Joseph Michael Sokota Of Hudson Valley, 89, Award-Winning Cameraman

Joseph Michael Sokota, 89, Poughkeepsie
Joseph Michael Sokota, 89, Poughkeepsie Photo Credit: Contributed

Joseph Michael Sokota, 89, a native of Poughkeepsie and an award-winning camera operator for CBS Sports, died Saturday of complications from pneumonia.

Born in Poughkeepsie in 1927 to Jurie and Rose Sokota, Sokota was best known for being the first cameraman to do away with the tripod and take up a manned position at turn four of the Daytona 500, wearing a helmet to protect himself from flying debris and holding the camera on his shoulder.

He also covered football, basketball, and golf, but enjoyed working the news side as well, covering NASA launches at Cape Kennedy in the 1960s and as a photographer for 60 Minutes.

Some of his other television credits include "The Jackie Gleason Show," "Inside the Actors Studio," and "Cinderella."

He is survived by his wife, Oie, and daughters, Karen and Janice.

Funeral services have already taken place.

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