CBS News correspondent Robert C. Pierpoint shown in this 2007...

CBS News correspondent Robert C. Pierpoint shown in this 2007 family photo taken in West Yellowstone, Mont. Credit: AP

Robert C. Pierpoint, a CBS News correspondent who covered six presidents and four decades of American history, died Oct. 22 at a hospital in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 86.

He had complications from hip surgery, his daughter Marta Pierpoint said.

Pierpoint worked during what is often viewed as the golden age of network news. He covered the Korean War from the field, the assassination of John F. Kennedy from Dallas and every administration from Dwight D. Eisenhower's to Jimmy Carter's.

"He represented a kind of television of a certain time unlikely ever to be repeated again," said former CBS News correspondent Marvin Kalb. Pierpoint was discovered by broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and he worked with anchor Walter Cronkite.

Pierpoint's first major assignment, mainly for CBS radio, was the Korean War. His distinctive, intimate voice was heard in the final episode of "M*A*S*H," which attracted more than 100 million viewers.

Later, as a White House correspondent, Pierpoint reported from the hospital where Kennedy was taken after being shot."

Robert Charles Pierpoint was born May 16, 1925, in Redondo Beach, Calif. After Navy service in World War II, he graduated from the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif., with business and economics degrees.

Pierpoint shared two Emmy Awards and chronicled his career in a 1981 book, "At the White House." Not only accurate, Kalb recalled, Pierpoint was quick. Once, he was called to the White House from a tennis game to go on the air. He had on a suit jacket and his tennis shorts.

Television footage showed him only from the chest up, but a photograph captured the shorts. "Some of the brass thought it undignified," correspondent Bob Schieffer recalled Sunday on the air. "The rest of us just loved it." Pierpoint will be buried in tennis shorts and a suit top.

"We wanted to honor his sense of humor," his daughter Marta said, "and his commitment to getting the story out."

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