Wednesday, February 09, 2005

February 8, 2005


George Herman, whose early overseas reporting provided CBS News with its first sound-and-film television segments from abroad, died today. The longtime political reporter, who was also the longest-serving moderator of FACE THE NATION, was 85 and lived in Washington, D.C. The cause of death was heart failure after a long illness.
Herman reported for CBS radio and television news during a 43-year career with the Network, primarily as a political reporter based in Washington. His convention, primary and national election reporting began with tallies on dime-store writing pads beamed to a handful of television sets in 1948 and ended in the computer age of electronic graphics seen by tens of millions in 1980. He first appeared on television analyzing caucus declarations for President Harry Truman at the 1948 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, the first to be televised.
Unlike some radio newsmen of his day who believed television would be a passing fad, Herman embraced the infant medium. In 1949, he traveled overseas as a stringer with a 16mm camera and an audio recording machine to become one of the few television correspondents to serve as a cameraman. He provided CBS News with its first sound and film television reports from abroad.

60 MINUTES correspondent Lesley Stahl, who took over as moderator of FACE THE NATION from Herman, said "George Herman was a giant. As FACE THE NATION moderator he was always fair, coming up with the salient question after the rest of the panelists like me probed around the edges. He was someone I looked up to and loved because he was witty, gentlemanly and so smart."
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patricia; three sons, Charles of Glenview Ill., Scott of Bethesda Md. and Douglas of Baltimore; and six grandchildren.

Excerpted from a longer article supplied by David Schwartz