(NEW YORK) — Morley Safer, who for nearly 50 years was a TV news fixture as a correspondent on the CBS Sunday news magazine 60 Minutes, has died at age 84. The network announced his death in a statement Thursday.
Safer retired from 60 Minutes just last Sunday, a decision CBS said in their statement that Safer announced while in “declining health,” though no other details about his health were given.
“After more than 50 years of broadcasting on CBS News and 60 Minutes I have decided to retire,” Safer said last week. “It’s been a wonderful run, 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. But most of all I thank the millions of people who have been loyal to our broadcast.”
CBS paid tribute to the correspondent with a special, Morley Safer: A Reporter’s Life, which aired last Sunday, and which CBS said Safer “watched in his home.”
“Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever,” CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves said in a statement, adding Safer “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.”
Canadian-born Safer became a regular on 60 Minutes in 1970, six years after joining the network and two years after the show debuted. His first report back then was about the training of U.S. Sky Marshals. His last report, which aired in March, was a profile of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.
Safer is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jane, as well as a daughter and three grandchildren. Funeral details are private, but a memorial will reportedly be announced later.
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