Morley Safer Dead

60 Minutes' Morley Safer Dead at 84

Veteran newsman and 60 Minutes mainstay Morley Safer died on Thursday at age 84, just days after the CBS newsmagazine celebrated his 46-year run and recently announced retirement with a one-hour special. A cause of death has not yet been noted, though he was said to be in declining health when he announced his retirement on May 11.

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

Safer joined Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes in 1970, replacing Harry Reasoner. Over the course of his career, he amassed a multitude of accolades, including 12 Emmys (the first one earned for his 1971 investigation of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that began America’s war in Vietnam), four du Pont-Columbia awards, three Peabody awards, the Radio and Television News Directors Association’s Paul White Award (at age 35), three Overseas Press Club awards, two George Polk Memorial awards and a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government.

“This is a very sad day for all of us at 60 Minutes and CBS News,” said Jeff Fager, an executive producer and a close friend of Safer’s. “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.”

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15 Comments
  1. Déjà vu? Andy Rooney died days after his retirement tribute. Spooky!

  2. Couch Mom says:

    I remember when 60 Minutes first came on the air. Mike Wallace, Harry Reasoner, Morley Safer, Andy Rooney, Walter Cronkite. Also Chet Huntley and David Brinkley from NBC. These guys were the pioneers of TV news and set the standards that few current newscasters can match. As a kid, I used to play like I was a newscaster reading the news. RIP all and RIP Mr. Safer.

  3. One of the last from the era when TV news organizations took pride in objective investigative reporting and analysis. Even Bob Schieffer retired this year. I don’t think anyone’s still around that could hold a candle to Safer, Cronkite, Brinkley, Howard K. Smith, Chancellor and Reasoner. Now its blogs and the 24 hour “shock and move on to the next thing” cycle.

  4. kath says:

    So sad.
    I think it says a lot for 60 Minutes that their veteran journalists, first Andy Rooney and now Morley Safer, stay on the show till their end.
    He was a great journalist from a time when journalism was finding the facts rather than entertainment, and a gentlemen. RIP
    (And a great Canadian.)

  5. TV Gord says:

    I wondered about his health when he didn’t appear at the end of Sunday’s tribute. I hope he was well enough to see it.

  6. Merv Unger says:

    CBS could have recognized that he honed his craft in his native Canada at the CBC Throughout the years at CBS he maintained his Canadian passport. He explained that it allowed him into many foreign situations that Americans could not get to for coverage. Very intelligent man.

  7. Joe Guenther says:

    One of the best and I believe the last original 60 minutes cast member.

  8. HAP says:

    One of the great television newsmen of all time.

    It seems apparent that when he announced his retirement last week, he had just received some bleak news from his doctor. CBS obviously scrambled to put together and air the tribute show while he was still alive.

    RIP.

  9. Mary Kelly says:

    <3 RIP Mr. Safer….you are one of the last great reporters…you and your style is and will be sorely missed…<3

  10. JBC says:

    He was one great journalist. Always enjoyed his segments. RIP Mr. Safer. Condolences to the entire Safer family and 60 minutes family.

  11. Connie says:

    Morley Safer , in addition to being an outstanding interviewer, was a kind man who could get at the truth without forcing his subjects to lose face; he was a class act in every way.