Dallas Townsend, a 44-year CBS News veteran who covered every presidential convention and campaign from 1948 through 1980, died June 1 of injuries suffered in a fall the week before. He was 76.
Townsend, who retired in 1985, was visiting his daughter’s home in Montclair, N.J., when the fatal accident occurred. He and his wife had come north from their Florida home.
Townsend, who was known for his deep, booming voice, worked at CBS from 1941 to 1985, writing and anchoring “World News Roundup” on the CBS Radio Network for 25 years. For two years, he anchored its evening counterpart, “The World Tonight,” and briefly worked for CBS-TV before his retirement.
Townsend covered every Republican and Democratic convention from 1948 to 1980, including the nominations of Harry S. Truman, Thomas Dewey, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
He also covered every space launch from 1962 to 1980, the Vietnam peace talks in Paris in 1968 and numerous U.N. sessions.
“Dallas Townsend was one of the great newsmen of his generation,” said CBS News president Eric Ober. “His loss is deeply mourned by his many, many friends and colleagues at CBS News.”
In addition to the duPont-Columbia award for his work on “Roundup,” the nation’s longest-running radio news broadcast, Townsend received a Peabody Award and an Armstrong Radio Pioneer Award. His career achievements earned him a Lowell Thomas Award in 1992.
Townsend started with CBS as a news writer. After serving in the Army during World War II, he returned to CBS as a news editor in 1946.
He became a CBS News correspondent in 1954. He took over “Roundup” two years later.
Born in New York City, Townsend grew up in New Jersey. He is survived by his wife, Lois, four children and 10 grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for June 5 in Montclair. His family asked that donations be made to the Salvation Army, the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J., or the First Congregational Church Memorial Fund.