CBS News producer Bernard Birnbaum, who helped shape the public’s view of issues ranging from poverty to the Watergate scandal while working alongside Walter Cronkite and Charles Kuralt, has died.
Birnbaum died on Thanksgiving Day at Stony Brook University Medical Center in Stony Brook, New York, after having a heart attack while visiting relatives nearby. He was 89.
Birnbaum’s CBS career won him seven Emmy Awards and took him to places ranging from Vietnam to the small-town America seen in “On the Road with Charles Kuralt.”
A visitor to Letcher County on several occasions, he and Kuralt first joined forces on the acclaimed 1964 documentary “Christmas in Appalachia,” about unemployed miners in Kentucky. Released as President Lyndon Johnson mobilized his war on poverty, the program spurred $70,000 in unsolicited donations for the families it featured.
As a producer for “The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” and other programs, Birnbaum covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War and Watergate in depth.