The NPR commentator, who died today, was a journalistic legend, having worked at CBS News under Edward R. Murrow, interviewed Nikita Khrushchev (the first ever with a Soviet leader) and a central broadcast figure in exposing Watergate.
NPR has posted an obit, as well as a sort recap of his career, in his own words. A highlight is where he recounts being given the names of those on Nixon’s “enemies list” and rushing to read it on the air. To his surprise, he was No. 17 on the list.
“I remember that my first thought was that I must go on reading without any pause, or gasp or look of wild surmise,” he wrote in his book “Clearing the Air.”
“I do not know how well I carried off my effort to appear oblivious to the discovery of my name on an ominous-looking list, but I count this one of the most trying experiences in my television career.”
NPR’s Vivian Schiller announced his death in a memo, posted on LA Observed:
She wrote, “It’s impossible to overestimate Dan’s impact on journalism – from his early days working with Edward R. Murrow, to the founding of CNN, to the last 25 years as NPR’s news analyst, a familiar and beloved voice to millions of listeners. Every one of us who happened to see Dan coming in to work — walking a little more slowly with time but with a razor-sharp wit and warmth that never dimmed – learned a lesson in the dedication, determination, and integrity that it takes to be the best. He was.”
Update: The Nixon Library has posted portions of an interview it did with Schorr about the Watergate era as part of its oral history project.
Here Schorr talks about Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” and why it ultimately trivialized the Watergate scandal.