LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Veteran journalist Daniel Schorr, whose career ranged from reporting on the building of the Berlin Wall to the Watergate scandal, died on Friday at the age of 93, National Public Radio said.
Schorr, who spent the past 25 years as a senior news analyst at NPR, died peacefully on Friday morning at a Washington hospital, surrounded by his family, after what NPR described in a statement as a short illness.
Schorr, who once described himself as a “living history book,” started his career as a foreign correspondent in 1946. He later joined Edward R. Murrow’s legendary radio and TV team at CBS, helped to create CNN in 1979, and then joined NPR becoming a senior news analyst in 1985.
His award-winning career included landing the first U.S. interview with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1957, covering the Sputnik space program, and reporting in the 1970s on secret CIA assassinations.
He counted his inclusion on the so-called enemies list drawn up by President Richard Nixon’s White House during the Watergate scandal as his greatest achievement.
Schorr worked for NPR until a few days before his death. His last “Week In Review” commentary was aired on July 10.
NPR’s Scott Simon, the host of “Weekend Edition”, described Schorr as a “fierce journalist, and a tender friend and father.”
“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,” Simon said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Schorr won three Emmys for his political reporting in the 1970s, and later a lifetime achievement Peabody award.
He was born in the Bronx in 1916, the son of Belorussian immigrants. He got his first scoop at age 12, when he saw the body of a woman who had jumped or fallen from the roof of his apartment building. He called the police and the Bronx Home News, which paid him $5 for the information.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Dan Whitcomb