Award-winning “60 Minutes” producer John Tiffin, who collaborated for four decades with Morley Safer, died March 4 in Rusper, England. He was 80.
Working with Safer on overseas stories, Tiffin produced investigations, profiles and features out of the Eye’s London office from 1970 to 2002, including Emmy-winning segments such as 1972’s “The Heroin Labs of Marseilles,” 1993’s “The Beeb,” about a day in the life of the Brit pubcaster’s radio service; and a 1996 report on a Serbian charged with the torture and murder of Muslims in the Balkan War.
Born in England, Tiffin studied in the U.K. and later at Columbia U. He joined CBS News’ London bureau in 1954 as a cameraman and shot in war zones including Cypress, the Suez and the Belgian Congo. He rose to associate producer and then producer, continuing to shoot the stories he produced. In 1964, he won an Overseas Press Club award for film photography for the “The Twentieth Century” documentary series.
During this time, Tiffin joined forces with a young Safer and they reported together for “The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite” for six years. When Safer joined “60 Minutes” in 1970, Tiffin came aboard the Eye program.
“John Tiffin was a remarkably talented man,” Safer said. “He raised the sometimes banal exercise of television news to high art. He had an eye for the perfect shot, that moment that said it all, and yet remained the most modest of men.”
Tiffin is survived by his wife, Wendy; three children; and three grandchildren.