"60 Minutes" creator Don Hewitt dies

The television pioneer was 86

Published August 19, 2009 4:01PM (EDT)

Don Hewitt, the creator of CBS' "60 Minutes," died Wednesday at 86, his old network reports.

Hewitt's career was much more than "60 Minutes." He produced and directed the three networks' coverage of the Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate in 1960, a pivotal moment in that campaign and in television and political history. He also directed the first network television newscast, in 1948. Later, he was the executive producer of "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite."

Earlier this year, Hewitt was reportedly hospitalized for pancreatic cancer.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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