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CBS Broadcaster Morley Safer Dies at 84

CBS Broadcaster Morley Safer Dies at 84

By    |   Thursday, 19 May 2016 12:28 PM

Veteran CBS newsman Morley Safer, who retired last week after 46 years as a correspondent at "60 Minutes," died Thursday at the age of 84.

CBS had aired an hour-long retrospective just four days ago about his long career on the investigative news show for which he produced 919 stories.

"He was an extraordinary writer and reporter, and a true gentleman," said CNN anchor and "60 Minutes" contributor Anderson Cooper said.

"From his work during the War in Vietnam to his completely unique and evocative pieces for 60 Minutes, he set the standard for what we all want to be as journalists. His kind shall not pass this way again."

CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves said of the affable, gravel-voiced newsman: "Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever. He broke ground in war reporting and made a name that will forever be synonymous with '60 Minutes.'

"He was also a gentleman, a scholar, a great raconteur — all of those things and much more to generations of colleagues, his legion of friends, and his family, to whom all of us at CBS offer our sincerest condolences over the loss of one of CBS' and journalism's greatest treasures."

"This is a very sad day for all of us at 60 Minutes and CBS News," added Jeff Fager, executive producer of "60 Minutes" and a close friend of Safer.

"Morley was a fixture, one of our pillars, and an inspiration in many ways. He was a master storyteller, a gentleman and a wonderful friend. We will miss him very much," Fager said.

Safer began with "60 Minutes" in 1970, reporting a story about the training of U.S. Sky Marshals and over the years did hard-hitting pieces like his interview with Bernie Madoff's wife, Ruth, as well as in-depth features, like riding the Orient Express.

Before his "60 Minutes" run, Safer made a huge splash with his news report from the Vietnamese hamlet of Cam Ne in August 1965, featuring footage of U.S. Marines burning the villagers' thatched huts. The report was hailed by New York University as one of the 20th century's best pieces of American journalism.

"It's been a wonderful run," Safer said last week in announcing his retirement. "But the time has come to say goodbye to all of my friends at CBS and the dozens of people who kept me on the air."

Safer, a resident of Manhattan, had been in declining health and his retirement was timed to that.

In an unusual confession last week, Safer — who always seemed remarkably comfortable in front of TV cameras — revealed that was anything but the case.

"I really don't like being on television…. It makes me uneasy. It is not natural to be talking to a piece of machinery. But the money is very good," Safer said.

Safer was born Nov. 8, 1931 in Toronto and later became an American citizen, holding a dual citizenship. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jane, a daughter, three grandchildren, and a sister and brother. Funeral arrangements are private.

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Veteran CBS newsman Morley Safer, who retired last week after 46 years as a correspondent at "60 Minutes," died Thursday at the age of 84.
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2016-28-19
Thursday, 19 May 2016 12:28 PM
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