A Hudson Valley man who was the first person to operate one of the most dangerous cameras in sports passed away this week.

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

According to SVG News, Sokota was a pioneer in broadcasting, working the camera for NASA launches at Cape Kennedy in the 1960s and ’70s as well as classic TV programs such as The Jackie Gleason Show and Playhouse 90.

Skota was an acclaimed sports cameraman, covering football, golf and basketball. But his most noteworthy achievement was operating the very first manned camera on turn four of the Daytona 500. Before Skota, the camera was left on a tripod because the location was determined to be too dangerous.

Wearing a helmet and keeping an eye out for flying car parts, Skota was the very first person to operate the most dangerous camera in sports.

Skota is survived by his wife and two daughters.