Don Hewitt

Active - 1968 - 2006  |   Born - Dec 14, 1922 in New York, NY  |   Died - Aug 19, 2009 in Bridgehampton, NY  |   Genres - Culture & Society [nf], Film, TV & Radio [nf], Visual Arts [nf]

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One of the most important journalists of the 20th century, Don Hewitt is largely responsible for helping create the overall culture of television news. Born in New York, the newsman began his career in 1942 as head copyboy for the New York Herald Tribune. He would go on to work for the photo agency ACME Newspictures, which led to an offer from CBS, which was looking to spearhead its TV news coverage by hiring someone with photographic experience.

He worked in many prominent capacities at CBS News, mostly in the realm of producer/director, and was involved in many important broadcasts such as the 1960 presidential candidate debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. After working as the executive producer for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, he launched the news magazine show 60 Minutes in 1968, which would prove to be a massive success, airing for 40 years and winning many awards and accolades including Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards, and more. Hewitt was also involved in a 1996 tobacco industry scandal, helping bring controversial information to light, and was portrayed in the 1999 film The Insider by Philip Baker Hall. Hewitt passed away in 2009 at the age of 86.