60 Minutes Creator Don Hewitt Passes Away

08.19.09 | FL News Team

(New York, NY) -- Don Hewitt, the pioneering creator of CBS' award-winning news program "60 Minutes," has died at the age of 86.  Hewitt was well known for his brash candor and unabashed criticisms behind the scenes.  He once said he wanted to die at his desk but stepped down from his duties at the weekly news magazine show in 2004.

As creator of "60 Minutes," Hewitt was widely credited as the pioneer of the news magazine format that has spawned numerous imitators over the years, including NBC's "Dateline" and ABC's "20/20."  The show debuted in the fall of 1968 showcasing a mix of investigative reporting with celebrity interviews and segments exploring public and social issues.  

Over the years, "60 Minutes" has also made household names out of show correspondents Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Dan Rather, Ed Bradley, Harry Reasoner, Diane Sawyer, Leslie Stahl and Andy Rooney.  It is still one of the top 20 shows in prime time television and the highest rated of all the news magazine programs.