Remembering Henry Cardenas
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Henry Cardenas spent 28 years at 7News as a news photographer, but more importantly he was a mentor to many. Tonight we remember his legacy.
Enrique Cardenas was born July 20, 1941 in Santa Clara, Cuba. Henry as he was known, was the master storyteller, a generous man with the camera.
In Cuba, Cardenas was a cinematographer and told colleagues he was handpicked to film government officials, including Fidel Castro.
In 1980 Cardenas fled the dictatorship after they jailed his wife's family members. He arrived in South Florida during the Mariel boat lift.
In a 1988 interview for broadcasting students, Cardenas spoke about getting his foot in the door at Channel 7, referring to his beloved camera as a saxophone. "The only thing that I want is just to play the saxophone," said Cardenas in an interview.
For 28 years, Cardenas brought stories into the homes of South Floridians. He worked with top names in broadcast news and covered the biggest stories.
Cardenas always saw the humanity behind the story. His lens acted as a window to the soul.
After Cardenas suffered a heart attack while covering a story in Haiti his life changed. He dedicated his life to God's creatures. Feeding the cats behind the station or the ducks. This was his way of saying thank you, giving back.
Cardenas' co-workers remember his commitment. "I promise God I would care for his little creatures that can’t care for them selves," said WSVN business manager Diane Jaramillo.
"I want to thank Channel 7 because Channel 7 ... they supported him for many years," said Cardenas' son, Adrian Cardenas.
Cardenas was hit with throat cancer. It spread though his jaw, his body was ravaged. For years he came into work and came here to be with his Channel 7 family and cover the big story of the day.
"He loved all of you, Channel 7, so much," said Cardenas' wife Alina Cardenas.
Channel 7 was his family and the people he covered was his passion. Even in the final years when he didn’t have strength he persevered. Cardenas did not want to say good-bye to his family.
In his letter of resignation, he wrote, "... But the time to put away my spade and shield, and let the young continue has come. There are no words with which to thank to Mr. Ed Ansin, you, Diane, and Alice, and many more that have helped me through these down times," said Jaramillo.
And so we say good-bye to an artist, a friend, a humanitarian and a teacher.
At his farewell, all the lives he touched were there to say thank you, thank you, for making us all better people.
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)