Daniel Schorr, NPR news analyst and the last working colleague of Edward R. Murrow, has died at age 93
I first thought about Schorr's stamina many years ago, when I was reading 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl'smemoir about getting started at CBS News, and she mentioned how the boys' club in place included Schorr.
Back then, he was helping CBS keep up with the exploding Watergate scandal, and he would go on to be fired by the network for publishing a secret document on Congressional investigations into covert intelligence activities. To me, the finest way for a journalist to lose a job.
Of course, Schorr has started as one of legendary journalisrt Edward R. Murrow's team of proteges knwon as "Murrow's Boys," the last working member of that august group. He passed away this morning after short illness, according to NPR. Click here to read their obituary; click hereto hear Schorr's own words about his career.
I, unfortunately, mostly knew him as an occasional commentator on NPR, where his take on Washington's absurdities was always enlightening, despite the fact that he was old enough to be a father or grandfather to most of the legislators embroiled in the action.
Now, NPR has lost one of its most-tenured and experienced voices. RIP for an amazing journalist, whose longevity and achievements stand in stark contrast to some of the stuff which passes for journalism these days.
Click below to read NPR's press release:
DANIEL SCHORR, NPR SENIOR NEWS ANALYST AND BROADCASTING PIONEER,
HAS DIED AT THE AGE OF 93
REMEMBRANCES OF SCHORR AT NPR.ORG
PLEASE NOTE: RESOURCES FOR MEDIA AT npr.org/about/press
July 23, 2010; Washington, D.C. – Veteran newsman Daniel Schorr, a pioneer of broadcast journalism who was part of Edward R. Murrow’s legendary CBS team, died peacefully this morning after a short illness at the age of 93, his family informed NPR. He was surrounded by his family. Since 1985, Schorr was a senior news analyst for NPR, interpreting national and international events in conversation and commentary on Weekend Edition and All Things Considered.
Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition, which became Schorr’s broadcast home for the past quarter century, said of his passing: “I was privileged to know Dan Schorr for 25 years and cherish him as a fierce journalist, and a tender friend and father. We used to joke, ‘I’m not Dan’s son. But I play Dan’s son on the radio.’ Sharing the studio with him, and so many laughs and memories, has been the blessing of a lifetime.
“What other person was personally acquainted with both Richard Nixon and Frank Zappa? Dan was around for both the Russian Revolution and the Digital Revolution. Nobody else in broadcast journalism – or perhaps any field – had as much experience and wisdom. I am just glad that, after being known for so many years as a tough and uncompromising journalist, NPR listeners also got to know the Dan Schorr that was playful, funny and kind. In a business that’s known for burning out people, Dan Schorr shined for nearly a century.”
NPR News is remembering Schorr today on-air and online. Obituaries, a photo gallery and an archive of Schorr’s commentaries for NPR are available at NPR.org. Resources for media covering the news of Schorr’s death are available at npr.org/about/press (details below). What would become Schorr’s and Simon’s final Week in Review for Weekend Edition aired Saturday, July 10. He voiced a commentary on All Things Considered on Wednesday, July 7.
At NPR, Schorr’s analysis of current issues was broadened by his unique and firsthand perspective on history. He was the last working member of “Murrow’s Boys,” the journalist’s legendary team of protégés at CBS News. Schorr’s career as a foreign correspondent began in 1946 when he started writing from Western Europe for the Christian Science Monitor and later The New York Times. He drew the attention of Murrow in 1953, and promptly joined CBS News as its diplomatic correspondent in Washington. Schorr reported for CBS for the next 20 years, covering Sputnik and landing the first-ever television interview with a Soviet leader as the network’s Moscow bureau chief; traveling the globe for assignments covering the United Nations, and later in Germany and Eastern Europe; and returning to Washington to report on civil rights and urban issues, and eventually Watergate. He resigned from CBS in 1976 after being suspended by the network and investigated by Congress for publishing an exclusive copy of a House of Representatives committee’s final report on its investigation of U.S. covert intelligence activities, against Congress’ wishes to suppress the document.
Schorr began working with NPR in the late 1970s, covering national politics and events. He was asked by Ted Turner to help create CNN in 1979, and served as the network’s senior correspondent in Washington. He became senior news analyst for NPR in 1985.
During his career, Schorr earned many awards for journalistic excellence, including a Peabody for “a lifetime of uncompromising reporting of the highest integrity,” three Emmys, the duPont-Columbia Golden Baton and numerous journalism and public media awards. He was honored by civil liberties groups and professional organizations for his defense of the First Amendment, and in 2002, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional Journalists. Schorr published a memoir, Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism, in 2001, and Clearing the Air, an account of his experiences at CBS, in 1977.