Donald Shepard Hewitt (December 14, 1922 – August 19, 2009) was an American television news producer and executive, best known for creating 60 Minutes, the CBS television news magazine in 1968, which at the time of his death, was the longest-running prime-time broadcast on American television. Under Hewitt's leadership, 60 Minutes was the only news program ever rated the nation's top-ranked television program, an achievement it accomplished five times.. Don produced the first televised presidential debate in the 1960.
Hewitt was born in New York City, New York, the son of Frieda (née Pike) and Ely S. Hewitt. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Russia, and his mother's family was of German Jewish descent. Hewitt's family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, shortly after his birth, where his father worked as a classified advertising manager for the Boston Herald American. His family later lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Hewitt attended New York University and started his journalism career in 1942 as head copyboy for the New York Herald Tribune. He joined the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1943. After World War II ended in 1945, Hewitt returned to his job as copyboy for the Tribune, then worked for The Associated Press at a bureau in Memphis, Tennessee. However, his wife Mary Weaver—whom he married while working in Memphis—wanted to go to New York City, so he moved back.