Morley Safer, The Face Of '60 Minutes,' Dies At 84


Longtime CBS journalist Morley Safer died at the age of 84 at his Manhattan home on May 19, a week after he said he was retiring.

Although he cut back on his broadcasts a decade ago, he still made regular appearances on "60 Minutes" with his distinctive stories on art, science and culture. Safer has won 12 Emmy awards, was a three-time Peabody winner and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, among others.

The Canadian-born veteran news reporter announced on May 11 he was ill and was retiring from the show. On May 15, CBS News aired a "60 Minutes" special dedicated to Safer’s 61-year journalism career. He reportedly watched the show from his home.

Safer changed wartime reporting when he exposed American GIs burning the huts of Vietnamese villagers. Regarded as one of the best television journalists of the Vietnam War, he brought the horrors of conflict to the homes of American viewers.

He worked on "60 Minutes" for 46 years and holds the record for the longest run on any primetime network television show, becoming the most senior member of the show.

Safer was one of television’s most celebrated journalists and covered an array of topics during his prolific career. He joined "60 Minutes" in 1970 and managed to outlast peers including Mike Wallace, Dan Rather, Harry Reasoner, Ed Bradley and Andy Rooney, according to The New York Times.

"Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever," said CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. "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."

Jeff Fager, executive producer of "60 Minutes" and one of Safer’s close friends said, "This is a very sad day for all of us at '60 Minutes' and CBS News. 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."

Sources: CBS News, The New York Times / Photo credit: CBS News

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