Friday, January 6, 2006


Neil Strawser, who spent 34 years as a correspondent for CBS News and anchored its four straight days of radio coverage of the assassination of President Kennedy, has died at the age of 78.

Strawser died at his home in Washington.

He appeared on radio and television for CBS News from 1952-86, including a stint as a Washington-based correspondent for the "CBS News With Douglas Edwards." This was the network's 15-minute newscast in the 1950s and early 1960s before Walter Cronkite replaced Edwards on the nightly newscast.

Before the Kennedy assassination, Strawser was on the job during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 as what the network described as one of the first reporters allowed to travel to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. As the television pool reporter, he saw Soviet freighters leave Cuban waters with nuclear missiles.

Strawser spent his entire career at CBS News in the Washington bureau. He moderated the CBS Radio coverage of NASA missions from the Gemini program through the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. He also moderated the CBS coverage of the 1973 Watergate hearings in the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings the following year.

Strawser also appeared on "Face the Nation."

After leaving CBS News, he worked as a press officer for the House Budget Committee from 1987 until he retired in 1994.

"Neil was a true Washington expert, particularly on the legislative process," CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante said. "He was a generous colleague with an enormous storehouse of knowledge he was always willing to share."

CBS TV newsmen have always played an important part in my family's living room while I was growing up. So that's why I'd like to tip my hat to Mr. Strawser for his contributions.


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