HomeNewsFormer CBS News and War Correspondent Richard Wagner Passes Away at 85

Former CBS News and War Correspondent Richard Wagner Passes Away at 85

Richard Wagner who appeared on CBS Evening News for more than three decades passed away at 85. The longtime correspondent of CBS news for famously known for contributing to the network’s coverage of the Vietnam War.

Wagner’s wife Confirms his Death

Richard Wagner’s wife Donna Lewis-Wagner confirmed the news of his death with a heavy heart. She revealed that her husband passed away at the age of 85 at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia. However, the cause of death is not yet revealed.

A Thrilling Journalism Career

As a journalist, Wagner appeared frequently on CBS Evening News when Walker Cronkite and Dan Rather were the anchors. He began working with CBS News in 1964 when he was based in Saigon. There, he covered the war in Vietnam, at the time when the military was limited by the parameters of military operations and access to war zones. In a 2018 podcast, Wagner described the scary moments of reporting the war:

“I remember a situation where once we were clamped down, couldn’t move, and then the barrage picked up almost as fast as it had started, and I wanted to stand up fast now that it was safe. and a stand-up… I found my hand was trembling so much that I couldn’t really do it. It affected me so much that I couldn’t do what I was supposed to do until I gathered myself.”

In the United States,  Wagner was based in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. He covered national politics and events ranging from the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the chemical pollution of Love Canal, the Challenger disaster, and activities of neo-Nazis in the Pacific Northwest to the World Series and the Boston Marathon.

An International Exposure…

In his three decades with CBS News, Wagner reported from all 50 states and at least 50 foreign countries. Wagner travelled to countries to report a versatile range of news. He was based in London, Saigon, Hong Kong and Johannesburg.

This gave him the opportunity allowing him to cover conflicts in Northern Ireland, anti-government violence in South Korea, the democratic revolution in China and the release of Nelson Mandela.

Wagner is remembered for covering  South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. He spent significant time reporting events in Central America in the 1970s and 1980s. For instance, in 1984, Wagner received the Sigma Delta Chi award for radio reporting in El Salvador. He was present with the Newsweek photographer John Hoagland, who was killed in a crossfire.

Richard also did assignments in the Persian Gulf in 1987 and received the Overseas Press Club Ben Grauer Award for Best Radio Spot News Reporting from Abroad. Wagner also covered events in Baghdad leading up to the launching of Operation Desert Storm.

Wagner’s other foreign assignments include his reporting on the conditions in Egypt after the assassination of President Anwar el-Sadat, Ayatollah’s return from exile in Tehran, the revolution in Iran, the war over the Falklands in South America and the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos in Phillippines.

In addition to this, Wagner served as CBS News’ first Health and Science correspondent. However, his career of covering conflicts in several nations is extremely commendable. Wagner will always be remembered as a brave journalist. RIP Richard Wagner.

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular