“I am in awe of what he was able to accomplish: as one person with two long careers,” his daughter, Deborah Krisher-Steele, said in an email message. “He had both the tenacity and optimism to make it possible.”
Not everybody loved Mr. Krisher, who could be obstinate, demanding and confrontational.
“He could be unrelenting against personal enemies and those who he felt had crossed him,” Mr. Doyle said. “So there existed a quite polarized view of Bernie. I spent many years working with Bernie, and I saw both sides.”
Ker Munthit, a former reporter for The Associated Press’s bureau in Cambodia, said in an email that Mr. Krisher “was pushy and insisting in whatever he had in mind that he wanted to advance or be done, and that could be a bit annoying.”
“However,” Mr. Munthit added, “regardless of the misgivings one might have about him — me included — it is undeniable that he has done some great things for the good of the country.”
Bernard Krisher was born on Aug. 9, 1931, in Frankfurt. His father, a Polish Jew, owned a fur shop. The family fled Germany in 1937 to avoid persecution by the Nazis and traveled to Queens, New York, passing through France, Spain and Portugal.
His daughter said his humanitarian work was inspired by the help he and his family received from strangers when they were fleeing the Holocaust. He believed, she said, “that a true humanitarian act is to help a stranger, not one of your own.”
Mr. Krisher attended Queens College and was drafted into the Army in 1953. He spent two years in Germany as a reporter for Stars and Stripes newspaper.