Veteran CBS correspondent Harold Dow, who helped shape the Eye’s “48 Hours” newsmag and broke racial barriers, died suddenly Aug. 21 in New Jersey. He was 62.
Dow contributed to the docu “48 Hours on Crack Street,” which led to the single-topic newsmagazine.
Dow covered many important stories of the time from the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, with whom he had an exclusive interview in December 1976, to the 9/11 attacks, after escaping from one of the twin towers.
He conducted the first network interview with with O. J. Simpson following the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Other key stories he covered included the return of POWs from Vietnam, the movement of American troops into Bosnia and the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster.
“The CBS News family has lost one of its oldest and most talented members, whose absence will be felt by many and whose on-air presence and reporting skills touched nearly all of our broadcasts,” said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports.
He began his career at CBS News in 1972 as a broadcast associate. Before joining CBS News, Dow, who had been based in New York since 1982, was an anchor at Theta Cable TV in Santa Monica. He was also a freelance reporter for KCOP-TV Los Angeles, a news anchor for WPAT Radio in Paterson, N.J. Dow became the first African-American television reporter in Omaha, Neb., where he served as co-anchor and talk-show host for KETV Omaha.
“Harold Dow was a reporter for the ages. Insatiably curious, he was happiest when he was on the road deep into a story. He took pride in every story he did,” said “48 Hours Mystery” exec oroducer, Susan Zirinsky. “It was his humanity, which was felt by everyone he encountered, even in his toughest interviews, that truly defined the greatness of his work.”
His reporting garnered him five News Emmys, including for the 1996 story on American troops in Bosnia and the 1989 coverage fo the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster. He drew a Peabody Award for his “48 Hours” report on runaways and a Robert F. Kennedy Award for a report on public housing.
Survivors include his wife, Kathy; two daughters and a son.