The longtime journalist will retire this week after 46 seasons on the newsmagazine and more seven decades in the journalism business, it was announced Wednesday.
“After more than 50 years of broadcasting on CBS News and 60 Minutes, I have decided to retire. It’s been a wonderful run, but the time has come to say goodbye to all of my friends at CBS and the dozens of people who kept me on the air,” said Safer. “But most of all I thank the millions of people who have been loyal to our broadcast.”
Subsequently, 60 Minutes will air a special tribute to the correspondent, Morley Safer: A Reporter’s Life, this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. The hourlong special will include interviews with former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, historian David McCullough and retired U.S. Brig. Gen. Joe Stringham, who commanded a Green Beret unit Safer accompanied into battle in Vietnam.
“Morley has had a brilliant career as a reporter and as one of the most significant figures in CBS News history, on our broadcast and in many of our lives,” said 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager. “Morley’s curiosity, his sense of adventure and his superb writing all made for exceptional work done by a remarkable man. The best of Morley Safer will be on display in our special broadcast this Sunday.”
Safer got his start in journalism in the 1950s and 1960s as a respected war reporter before joining 60 Minutes as a part-time correspondent in 1968. He was bumped up to full-time in 1970. His landmark stories include an investigation that freed Lenell Geter, a black man wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison in Texas, as well as profiles of Jackie Gleason, Katharine Hepburn and Anna Wintour, among others. Geter also will appear in the special Sunday.
Safer currently ranks as 60 Minutes‘ longest-serving correspondent. His most recent piece for the newsmagazine, a profile of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, aired in March.
This is the latest departure for CBS News, which last year saw the retirement of longtime Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer. 60 Minutes also said goodbye to another longtime correspondent, Bob Simon, who was killed in a car accident in February 2015. The current 60 Minutes team also includes Steve Kroft, Lara Logan, Lesley Stahl, Bill Whitaker and CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley. Part-time correspondents include Anderson Cooper, Sanjay Gupta and Sharyn Alfonsi, as well as CBS This Morning‘s Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell.
Watch an excerpt from Sunday’s special below.