Here are some more memories of Henry Shapiro exploits as captured by the late Dick Harnett of San Francisco, founder of the Downhold listserv:
Henry Shapiro beat the world on the death of Joseph Stalin simply because he was a smart reporter who could think ahead, not because of any "in" deals with the Kremlin.
It was no secret that something was up when Russian radio substituted classical music for regular broadcasting, but censorship was so strict that even that could not be reported. And it was tough in those days to "book" a call out of Moscow anyway. So Shapiro promptly booked multiple calls, to London, Cairo, Paris, New York, Vienna and, I guess, anywhere else near or far where UP had a bureau. As luck would have it, the call to Paris came through long before censorship was ready to release anything, so Henry talked for hours (on UP, collect) about the weather, his family, the garden, the winters, endlessly, and exchanged personal chit-chat with Ed Korry, and then with each of us, in turn, in the Paris buureau. We ran out of things to say before Henry did.
When the censor said he could tell us why he called, Paris had the flash already on tape and ready to go. The other guys, far as I could tell, were frantically trying to book calls out of Moscow. Now that's what I call a reporter! It's no wonder we had Moscow to ourselves.