Martha Rountree, co-creator and first moderator of the NBC News program “Meet the Press,” died Aug. 23 in Washington of natural causes. She was 87.
In addition to co-producing “Meet the Press,” Rountree also was the only woman moderator in the show’s 52-year history. She also produced other television shows, including “Keep Posted,” “Washington Exclusive” and “Capitol Close Up.”
In 1945, she joined Lawrence Spivak in introducing “Meet the Press” as a radio show. Two years later the program aired on television for the first time. She went on the lecture circuit in 1953 when she sold her share of the show to Spivak after a coin toss.
Rountree was a reporter for the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune but moved to New York in 1938, where she worked as an editor and freelance journalist. She joined NBC seven years later.
In 1965, the award-winning journalist founded Leadership, a nonprofit political research organization, and was its president until 1988.
Survivors include two daughters, a brother and a sister.