Legendary reporter Daniel Schorr dies at the age of 93

In his outstanding autobiography, Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism written in 2001, Schorr wrote about the time when he was live on television reading Richard Nixon's secret enemies list.  When he got the 17th person on the list, he paused.  It was his name listed there.

I managed not to gasp," he later wrote. "I broke into a big sweat. This was the most electrifying moment in my career."

In his obituary on the NPR website written today, Scott Simon memorializes the man he said was "loveable".

No other journalist in memory saw as much history as Daniel Schorr.

He was born the year before the Russian Revolution and lived to see the Digital Revolution. He was there before the Berlin Wall went up and there a generation later when it came down. He was born before people had radio in their homes but pioneered the use of radio, television, satellites and then the Web to report the news.

How many people were personal acquaintances of Edward R. Murrow, Nikita Khrushchev, Frank Zappa and Richard Nixon?

Daniel Schorr, who first distinguished himself in a long journalism career for his work in the Soviet Union in the 1950's, has died today at the age of 93.

For the past two decades, Schorr has been employed at NPR, where he did commentaries.  His highest profile slot was his perch on Saturday morning's discussing the news of the week with Weekend Edition host Scott Simon.

Schorr had a history of run-ins with authority, and ultimately left his long time employer, CBS News, after controversy broke out after he obtained a copy of a secret House of Representatives committee report on questionable activities by the CIA (such as trying to assassinate Fidel Castro).  He first reported about that on CBS, but as the New York Times reports,when no book publisher wanted to publish what was known as the Pike Report, he provided it to the Village Voice in 1976.  He ended up being investigated by the FBI and Congress, and the situation ultimately led to his leaving the network.

In the Washington Post's obituary written about him, his apparent unpopularity with his colleagues became manifest at CBS News after the incident regarding the Pike Report.

The House panel voted not to prosecute, but Mr. Schorr's subsequent appearance on "60 Minutes" didn't turn out as well. Under grilling by veteran newsman Mike Wallace, the depth of resentment toward Mr. Schorr at CBS became evident. Some network executives were still fuming over his remarks to Duke University students the previous year that implied that CBS had pressured Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid and Dan Rather to go easy on Nixon the night he announced his resignation — a charge all three denied.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]