For just shy of half a century, Morley Safer was one of the most multifarious journalists on CBS’ 60 Minutes, filing nearly a thousand dispatches on a dizzying array of subjects — from race relations in the U.S. to the tango in Finland — and from all corners of the planet. Certainly he’s the most enduring — he joined as a correspondent in 1970, in the show’s third season.
He died on Thursday night at age 84. Safer’s death came mere days after his retirement from 60 Minutes, which commemorated his career last Sunday night with an hour-long biographical tribute. Much of his career has been storied, but there are several moments especially worthy of remembering:
1. Cam Ne. In 1965, after working for CBS News in London, Safer opened the organization’s bureau in Saigon amid the fervor and uncertainty of the Vietnam War. That August, he reported from the village of Cam Ne, where U.S. Marines used flamethrowers to torch civilian homes. So incendiary was the report — it was among the first to suggest that all was not well in Indochina — that President Lyndon B. Johnson called CBS and accused Safer of having “shat on the American flag.” The Canadian-born reporter later said that the Johnson Administration wanted him fired, and that there were allegations that he was a Soviet KGB agent. The broadcast is remembered today as a revolutionary journalistic feat. Read more at TIME