NEW YORK, May 19 (UPI) -- Morley Safer, the longest-serving correspondent on the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes, died Thursday at age 84.
Safer, a native of Canada, joined CBS in 1964 after writing for Canadian newspapers and working as a correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Company. He started with 60 Minutes in 1970, two years after the television newsmagazine launched. His last story, his 919th, aired in March and was a profile of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.
He retired from 60 Minutes just days ago. Sunday, the network aired a special, "Morley Safer: A Reporter's Life."
"It's been a wonderful run, but the time has come to say goodbye to all of my friends at CBS and the dozens of people who kept me on the air," Safer said at his retirement. "But most of all I thank the millions of people who have been loyal to our broadcast."
His cause of death wasn't revealed.
Safer was a legend in television news, with the likes of Mike Wallace, Harry Reasoner and Ed Bradley. He began his career with CBS working from the London bureau. In 1965, he opened the CBS News Saigon Bureau. That same year, his reporting drew criticism from U.S. President Lyndon Johnson after he showed a U.S. Marine in Vietnam setting a hut on fire with a cigarette lighter. Johnson, irate over the negative publicity, unsuccessfully lobbied CBS to censor Safer.
Out of the newsroom, Safer was a fan of fast cars and card games, purchasing a Bentley with poker winnings.
Among his many awards were 12 Emmys, three Overseas Press Club Awards, three Peabody Awards and two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards.