Regardless of whether the statistics would actually prove it or not, it feels like 2016 has had more noteworthy deaths than any other 12-month span in history. And today has taken another icon, as longtime 60 Minutes correspondent and news legend Morley Safer has passed away at 84, having dedicated most of his life to keeping American audiences informed.
CBS announced Morley Safer died earlier today at his Manhattan home, although no cause of death was given, and one has yet to be disclosed as of this writing. CBS' announcement did offer up that the astute reporter was in declining health last week when he announced his retirement from 60 Minutes, according to so it’s possible that had a part to play in it. You know what definitely didn’t do Morley Safer in? Being bad at his job.
Born in Toronto, Safer kicked off his stunning career reporting for a variety of Canadian newspaper, later joining CBS News in 1964. That move led to the first of many huge stories for Safer when, through the Saigon bureau he opened, he was one of the first to go on-air with how horrible the situation was in Vietnam, and it was the kind of report that put him in the crosshairs of President Lyndon B. Johnson and others. Not that he backed down.
Morley Safer got the gig that he became synonymous with in 1970, when he joined 60 Minutes in its third season on the air. He was instantly watchable, and his stories – which veered from the extremely important to the occasionally odd – numbered over 900 by the time he decided to tastefully lay down the towel for retirement. Safer has the longest span of any 60 Minutes correspondent with 46 years of documenting reality behind him, and he’s earned 12 Emmy Awards, with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy awarded to him also. Not to mention loads of other prizes, honors and accolades.
Since Safer had just announced his retirement last week, CBS had only days ago put together a special devoted to him that aired last Sunday. You can also see just how Safer changed the news game in this retrospective segment from CBS This Morning.
Sadly, Morley Safer is far from the first 60 Minutes legend to pass away in the past handful of years. He succeeds Bob Simon (2015), Mike Wallace (2012) and Andy Rooney (2011), among others.
We here at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Morley Safer in their time of mourning. There will not, and cannot, be another one quite like him.