Producer Don Hewitt dies at 86

The CBS pioneer will be remembered for his magnum opus: '60 Minutes'

Don Hewitt, creator of ’60 Minutes,’ passed away on Wednesday at the age of 86. Hewitt’s journalism career spanned over 60 years, and he is widely credited as being the father of modern television news. Beginning his career as a producer at CBC, Hewitt directed the first network television newscast in May 1948. From then on, he was present and involved in most of the network’s defining moments. In 1960, he helped to produce the first televised presidential debate. In 1963, he was executive producer of the network’s first half-hour newscast, featuring reporting legend Walter Cronkite. Hewitt also helped to pioneer the use of cue cards for newsreaders—a development that later evolved into the TelePrompter. But Hewitt’s prized creation was the television news magazine, 60 Minutes, which threw issues ranging from euthanasia to Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity onto the international stage. “He is truly an innovator in this business,” explained the late Roone Arledge. The news magazine “is an innovative format no one had done before. It’s been copied all over the world.” Mr. Hewitt had been diagnosed with cancer.

CBS News


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