William V. Steckman

William V. Steckman
World Trade Center

Neither Wind Nor Hail

For most of the 35 years that William Steckman worked for NBC, he tended the company's transmitter in 1 World Trade Center, and worked the night shift just about all that time. None of the wild weather — the lashing hailstorms, passing hurricanes or strokes of lightning — really bothered him, "because he was so confident in the strength of that building, he knew nothing could happen to it," said Jerry Vandagna, his father-in-law.

Furthermore, Mr. Steckman, a 56-year- old audio engineer, liked the night shift not only because it let him spend time during the day in West Hempstead, N.Y., with his five children, but also because it gave him a chance to fix everything around the house. "He could fix absolutely anything," Mr. Vandagna said. Knowing that, his boss phoned and asked if he could stay after his shift ended at 6 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 11. He always stayed whenever new equipment was being installed. After the first plane crashed, Mr. Steckman phoned his boss and said, "I'll power down and get out."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 26, 2001.

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