Bruce Morton, one of the star correspondents of the Walter Cronkite/Dan Rather era at “The CBS Evening News” and long considered one of the news division's most elegant writers, has died. He was 83 and had been battling cancer.
Morton, a superb reporter, was not one to suffer fools gladly nor news organizations that no longer valued his long service or deep institutional knowledge, and left CBS in 1993 for CNN, from which he retired in 2006.
But CBS was where he made his considerable mark. He was one of the network's key Vietnam correspondents, and spent many years at the Washington bureau — during the golden years, when this bureau was filled with real reportorial lions, and along with The Washington Post and New York Times, was one of the capitol's most respected, and feared, news organizations.
Quoting here directly from the network's obit:
As a member of the powerhouse CBS News Washington Bureau in the 1970s, he covered some of the biggest political news stories of his era, winning an Emmy with his team for the CBS News Special Report “Watergate: The White House Transcripts” in 1977. He won a total of six Emmys for his CBS News work, one of which was for his coverage of the 1971 court martial of Lt. William Calley, who was on trial for the infamous Vietnam War My Lai Massacre. . Morton rose to co-anchor of the “CBS Morning News” in 1975, a promotion based on his erudite reporting and especially, his writing talents. Former CBS Newsman Roger Mudd wrote glowingly of Morton’s writing prowess in his 2008 book, “The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory of Television News.” The Peabody Awards committee recognized this talent in 1976, when it presented him and another CBS Newsman, Hughes Rudd, with a Peabody Award for their roles as co-anchors. The citation states, “Hughes Rudd and Bruce Morton are two Americans who make getting up every morning worthwhile. Their incisive writing, their choice of both the significant and the insignificant to report, and their ability to see something bright — and, yes, even humorous — amongst the heavy-handedness of most of the day’s news make a bright spot on the American television morning scene. Any American who tunes in to the “CBS Morning News” is assured not only of being kept well-informed, but he — or she — is assured of being lifted, even though perhaps slightly, by the marvelous efforts and witty humor of these two word craftsmen.”
Per CBS, the Norwalk, Connecticut-born Morton is survived by a daughter, Sarah Morton, and a son, Alec, both of New York City. The family is planning to announce a future memorial service to be held in Washington, where Morton lived since 1964.