Charles Osgood, the brilliant radio and television commentator who presented CBS morning Sunday news for more than two decades, died Tuesday. He was 91 years old.
Osgood, who was also heard on radio for more than 50 years with CBS The Osgood FileHe died at his home in New Jersey from dementia, the network reported. Announced.
The low-key Bronx native replaced Charles on the CBS Sunday show. Kuralt in 1994 and retired in September 2016 as its longest-serving host. After handing the reins to Jane Pauleycontinued broadcasting The Osgood File and contribute stories to CBS News.
On December 6, Osgood and Westwood One announced an extension to maintain The Osgood File was going, but changed course just 15 days later.
“Although I really wanted to continue… unfortunately my health and the doctors will not allow me now. Then I will withdraw from The Osgood File and radio at the end of the year with great gratitude for all the success we have had together,” he said. “I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and the best of everything in 2018.”
The Peabody Award winner was also known for sporting bow ties on camera and signing, “Until then, I’ll see you on the radio,” at the end of every Sunday show. What also made Osgood so endearing was his eloquent delivery that often incorporated verses. When a magazine writer suggested that men who wear bow ties can’t be trusted, Osgood responded with this whimsical retort:
“For those who have desired to be honest and trusted,
A bow tie, I say, doesn’t hurt.
It’s not your tie that most people will notice…
It’s the big soup stain on your shirt.
Debuting in 1967, The Osgood File It airs four times a day Monday through Friday on the CBS Radio Network. Each segment would last only three minutes, but it was more than enough time for Osgood to present his take on an unusual person or story. His prose was so engaging that he was dubbed the “poet in residence” on CBS Radio; His voice is so lyrical that he was chosen to narrate the 2008 animated film. Horton listens to who!
When I was about to join CBS morning Sunday news In 1994, Osgood explained his radio style The New York Times. “Sometimes if you take a conventional story and add a rhyme to it, you can turn it into something special and flesh it out in two and a half minutes. Of course, the story should be fun. Or moving. “Sometimes you get lucky and it turns out to be both.”
Osgood successfully transferred this approach to television, entertaining viewers for over 22 years.
“Watching him work was a master class in communication,” Pauley said in a statement. “I still think, ‘How would Charlie say it?’, trying to capture the illusory warmth and intelligence of his voice and his delivery. I hope to keep trying.
“He was one of the best broadcast stylists and one of the last. His style was so natural and simple that it communicated his authenticity. He connected with people. Watching him on television or listening to him on the radio, as I did for years, was to feel like you knew him and he knew you. “He brought a unique sensitivity, curiosity and his characteristic whimsy to ‘Sunday Morning,’ and it endures.”
Born Charles Osgood Wood III on January 8, 1933, he attended Fordham University in early 1950s and was drawn to the college radio station. When he wasn’t playing records during his show, Osgood played the piano. He was also friends with colleagues including Alan. alda and Jack Haley Jr.
“They were infectious and we had a lot of fun,” Osgood said during his New York Times interview. “There were times, of course, when we spent more time at the station than in classes, but we still managed to graduate.”
After leaving Fordham in 1954, Osgood saw an opportunity that led him to the military. While he was meeting a friend at a radio station, he was introduced to the announcer for the US Army Band and learned that he was nearing the end of his term. Osgood located the soldier’s commanding officer and enlisted. From 1955 to 1958, while residing at Fort Myer in Virginia, Osgood toured as the band’s master of ceremonies. During his visits to Washington, he worked as an announcer at a radio station. WGMS.
He was there when President Dwight Eisenhower suffered a heart attack and the station turned to Osgood to create a radio broadcast that aired exclusively to Ike’s hospital room. “I kept it light, because it’s not every day you have a captive presidential audience,” he recalled.
During his tour with the band Army, Osgood teamed up with his roommate, John Cacavas, to write songs. (Cacavas He would go on to compose television programs such as kojak and Hawaii five-0.) A recording of his “Gallant Men” became a hit in 1967, with then-Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois narrating. It won a Grammy for best spoken word recording and is heard on the soundtrack of easy rider (1969).
like osgood said he Los Angeles Times in 1991: “Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda roll into town on their Easy Rider bikes and there’s a parade marching down the street. They sort of disrupt the parade and get arrested. The band is playing ‘Gallant Men’. So every time easy rider When he plays in Europe, I get 4 cents.”
After his tour of duty ended in 1957, Osgood joined WGMS as a full-time announcer under the name Charles Wood and was promoted to program director the following year. One of his most notable projects was in the 1960s. FDR speaksa six-album collection of 33 speeches given by President Franklin Roosevelt between 1933 and 1945. Osgood provided the introductions and commentaries.
Osgood got his first taste of television in 1962, when RKO General, the parent company of WGMStransferred him to Hartford, Connecticut, and named him general manager of WHCT. One of the first pay TV subscription services, complete with set-top box, WHCT It was a financial failure. And so, at age 30, Osgood was unemployed.
Osgood contacted Frank Maguire, a former Fordham colleague in charge of program development at ABC in New York. In 1963, he signed on as a writer and co-host of the ABC Radio show. Style reports – a series of five-minute human interest stories. (One of the reporters had future night line host Ted Koppel.) It was here that Osgood changed his professional name to avoid confusion with Charles Woods, an announcer at the station.
Osgood moved to CBS Radio in 1967. Amid the conversion to an all-news format, the network tapped him to host its inaugural morning drive segment.
Osgood was also a mainstay in CBS’ television news department. At one point, he served as a reporter or anchor for all of the network’s major newscasts, including CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the CBS Morning News. From 1981 to 1987, he anchored the CBS Sunday Night News.
His affable demeanor lent itself to a leisurely pace on the Sunday morning show.
After starting with the day’s breaking news and national weather, Osgood talked about general interest stories about music, architecture, politics, ballet and pop culture. For example, the September 18, 2016 issue (before his final appearance a week later, which was devoted to an Osgood retrospective) included a story about Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary; a piece that explains the science of luck; a tribute to playwright Edward Albee; a preview of art exhibits in the country’s museums; and a makeup artist profile ricci Johnson, whose 70-year career at CBS included preparing The Beatles for their Ed Sullivan Show debuted in 1964 and was part of the correspondents and guests of 60 minutes. (She was also Osgood’s longtime makeup artist.)
With Osgood front and center, CBS morning Sunday news won two daytime emmy awards for featured morning show and three news and documentaries emmy awards. The show was honored with a Peabody Award in 1997. Osgood himself won a Peabody in 1986 as narrator and writer for the CBS radio show. news brand: What part of the world are we in? The year before, a CBS News segment he narrated, “The Number Man: Bach at Three Hundred,” was also honored with a Peabody.
The bow tie he wore on his last show as host of the Sunday show was donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
For several decades, Osgood also wrote a biweekly syndicated newspaper column for Tribune Media Services. In 1956 he wrote One only voicea play in three acts, and was the author of seven books, including Nothing could be better than a minor crisis in the morning (1979), The Osgood Files (1991), See you on the radio (1999) and Defend Baltimore against enemy attack (2011).
He is survived by his second wife, Jean (they were married 50 years); his children, Kathleen, Winston, Annie, Emily and Jamie; a sister, Mary Ann; and a brother, Ken.
“Charlie loved being part of the ‘Sunday Morning’ community,” his family says in a statement. “We will miss him greatly, but we take comfort in knowing that his life was charmed, in large part thanks to you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for welcoming you into your homes on Sundays to share stories and highlight the best parts of humanity. He’ll see you on the radio.”