Morley Safer, one of TV’s most celebrated journalists, who famously brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into the living rooms of America in the 1960s and was a reporter for 60 Minutes for almost five decades, died at his home this morning. He was 84.
CBS announced his death, saying he had been in declining health. In a bittersweet twist, his death came just one week after he officially retired, and just four days after the network broadcast a long-planned special hour to honor the occasion that he watched from home.
And this is where things get a little spooky: You might recall that something very similar happened to Andy Rooney, who died one month after HE announced HIS retirement.
Is 60 Minutes CURSED? Or is it just an all-too-common case of old people dying when they feel they no longer have a purpose in life?
God help us if Lesley Stahl decides to quit.
Anyway. Back to Morley. Tributes from colleagues are pouring in as we speak.
“Morley Safer has died. A masterful storyteller, inspiration to many of us and a wonderful friend,” 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager tweeted Thursday.
“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.”
And be sure to check out the New York Times obituary. Whata life. What a career. They don’t make ’em like Morley anymore.