(Reuters) – – Television journalist Morley Safer, who made his reputation as a Vietnam War correspondent for CBS and then became a mainstay on the network’s “60 Minutes” show for 46 years, has died at age 84, a few days after his retirement, the network announced on Thursday.
He retired from CBS last week and “60 Minutes” paid tribute to him with a look back at his work on Sunday’s show. Safer, who spent 61 years in television news, brought an authoritative, urbane style to “60 Minutes,” CBS’s ground-breaking news program, and 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 U.S. television’s most enduring stars. “Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever,” CBS chairman and Chief Executive Officer 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.