Robert C. Pierpoint | CBS News reporter, 86

Robert C.Pierpoint
Robert C.Pierpoint
Posted: October 24, 2011

CBS News correspondent Robert C. Pierpoint - who covered six presidents, the Korean War, President Kennedy's assassination, and the Iranian hostage crisis - died Saturday in California, his daughter said.

Mr. Pierpoint, 86, who retired in 1990, died of complications from surgery at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Marta Pierpoint told the Associated Press. He had broken his hip Oct. 12 at the Santa Barbara Retirement Community where he lived with his wife, Patricia.

After making his name covering the Korean War - a role he reprised when he provided his radio voice for the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983 - Mr. Pierpoint became a White House correspondent during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, a position he would hold through the Jimmy Carter administration.

"He lived quite an amazing life," said Marta Pierpoint. She said her father was proudest of his coverage of the Korean War, Watergate, and most of all the Kennedy assassination, an event that would still bring him to tears in an interview with his hometown paper three weeks before his death.

"I didn't like what the priest said about a time to live and a time to die," Robert Pierpoint told the Santa Barbara News-Press in an Oct. 2 story. "It was not Kennedy's time to die."

CBS kept Mr. Pierpoint at the White House for 23 years, a period he chronicled in his 1981 memoir, At the White House.

He moved to covering the State Department in 1980 and ended his career on the show Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt.

Born May 16, 1925, in Redondo Beach, Calif., Mr. Pierpoint joined the Navy in 1943. He graduated from the University of Redlands, where his papers and archives are now kept, in 1948. - AP

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