Mitchell Krauss, Longtime CBS News Correspondent, Dies at 90

Mitchell Krauss
Courtesy of CBS

Mitchell Krauss

He was wounded in the 1981 assassination of Egypt president Anwar Sadat, but still managed to file his report.

Mitchell Krauss, a Middle East correspondent for CBS News who was wounded in the 1981 assassination of Egypt president Anwar Sadat, died Jan. 27 of kidney failure in a hospital in Rhinebeck, New York. He was 90.

Krauss served as a CBS News correspondent on television and radio from 1972-97 and appeared regularly on the CBS Evening News anchored by Walter Cronkite and then Dan Rather. He was the news division's United Nations correspondent and an economic reporter in New York before being posted abroad.

On Oct. 6, 1981, Krauss was covering a military parade in Cairo and was near enough to Sadat that he suffered a shrapnel wound to his leg in the grenade and automatic weapons attack that killed the Egyptian leader.

One of few reporters on the scene, Krauss was able to file an audio report that was broadcast later as part of a CBS Special Report on the assassination. He then managed to get on a flight to Rome with videotape of the event before the Cairo airport was closed.

He later covered the trials of the religious extremists who killed Sadat and the administration of Egypt's new president, Hosni Mubarak.

Mitchell Edward Krauss was born in New York City on Sept. 17, 1930. He received his bachelor's degree from NYU in 1951 and his master's from the University of Pennsylvania two years later, and he served in the U.S. Army.

He began his career in news broadcasting in the 1950s in radio at WQXR in New York and at WFLN and WIP in Philadelphia.

Krauss joined CBS News from WNET, PBS' station in New York, where he was a news correspondent and host of the syndicated Newsfront, the first noncommercial, live daily news program in the U.S.

He served as CBS' News bureau chief in Cairo, and his Middle East beat included assignments in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Israel.

Late in his CBS career, Krauss appeared mostly on radio, anchoring hourly national news reports and the daily World News Roundup. He also anchored live coverage of the 1986 explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle and of the Anita Hill hearings in 1991.

A onetime president of the Economic Broadcasters Association, Krauss after his retirement lectured on the role of media in society, world affairs and the history of broadcasting, mostly in conjunction with the World Affairs Forum for which he served in a leadership role for three decades.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Elisabeth; children Jennifer and David; daughter-in-law Becky; brother Anthony; and four grandchildren.