Television journalist Morley Safer, whose 46 years as a mainstay on the CBS news magazine program 60 Minutes made him synonymous with the long-running show, died at age 84 on Thursday, a few days after he retired.
Safer died at his Manhattan home after retiring from the network in declining health, Reuters reports, citing a company announcement.
The program paid tribute to his work on Sunday’s show and in a final posting on Twitter on Sunday, Safer wrote: “It’s been a wonderful run, and I want to thank the millions of people who have been loyal to our @60Minutes broadcast. Thank you!”
Safer made his reputation as a Vietnam War correspondent for CBS and then became a mainstay on 60 Minutes show for 46 years.
He spent 61 years in television news and brought an authoritative, urbane style to 60 Minutes, CBS’s ground-breaking news program, according to Reuters.
His work was a mix of hard and soft news.
The part-time painter often reported on art and his disdain for contemporary works often set the art world atwitter.
CBS said Safer changed war reporting forever with his work in Vietnam before becoming an “iconic” correspondent who was one of US television’s most enduring stars.
“Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever,” CBS chairman and chief executive Leslie Moonves said in a statement.
“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.”
Although he interviewed many artists, actors and musicians, Safer never cared much for celebrities, saying, “I really don’t care what movie stars have to say about life”.
Still, he listed country singer Dolly Parton among his favorite interview subjects.
“If I could interview Dolly every week, I would,” Safer told the New York Post in 2009.
Safer also delivered deep investigative pieces on injustice, corporate malfeasance and trade in human body parts among a raft of other subjects.
“Some people, you have to grit your teeth in order to stay in the same room as them but you get on and ask the questions you assume most of the people watching want to ask,” he once said.
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