Thursday, August 22 is my birthday. Like Jack Benny said on his first radio show after he introduced himself, “who cares!” I’m just an average guy who loves what he does and loves his family and friends. But I do share this date with three famous people who are or were part of CBS’s glorious history.
Steve Kroft has been with CBS News since 1980 and currently serves as a reporter and co-editor for the award winning show 60 Minutes, which will be going into its 46th season. Steve had a brief stint in Dallas but has been stationed overseas and has been doing reports for 60 Minutes since September 1989. I think today for some people being investigated four of the most feared words are, “Steve Kroft is here.” From covering insider trading of securities to the Chernobyl disaster in Russia, Steve reports on the big stories and never shies away when the going gets tough.
Morton Dean was a longtime CBS News correspondent and anchorman before leaving for the Tribune Company and then ABC News. When I started my TV career in 1978, Dean was substituting on the CBS Evening News for Walter Cronkite at times and doing some of the weekend versions. CBS also used to do a primetime news brief that Dean anchored, “Good Evening, from CBS News, this is Newsbreak…”, then the headlines, toss to a break, and then say, “I’m Morton Dean, CBS News, New York, more news later on this CBS station and on CBS News Nightwatch” which was CBS’s overnight news programming hosted originally by CBS This Morning’s Charlie Rose (the show is now called CBS Up To The Minute anchored by Anne-Marie Green).
Valerie Harper has been a legendary actress for me since 1970 when she co-starred in the CBS hit series The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Mary Richards’ pesky neighbor Rhoda Morgenstern. Out of the 168 episodes filmed, Harper appeared in 96 episodes plus the final episode of the show where a new owner of WJM TV arrives and fires the entire news staff except for the one person that should have been fired: Ted Baxter!! (played by Ted Knight). She then starred in a spin off simply called Rhoda (produced by Moore and her then husband Grant Tinker through MTM Productions), airing on CBS from 1974-1978 and filming 110 episodes. Many of you know that she is battling cancer today.
I am honored to share my birthday with these three extraordinary individuals. Happy Birthday Steve, Mort, and Valerie. See you next time.
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