Bernard Kalb, veteran correspondent and former CBS News journalist, died Sunday, his daughter confirmed to CBS News. He was 100.
A statement from Kalb’s family called him the “ultimate reporter” who had “boundless curiosity and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.”
“Above all, he was a person of impeccable integrity who embraced peoples and cultures all over the world and loved his family deeply,” the statement continued. “We have lost a journalistic giant. We will miss him enormously.”
Kalb’s younger brother, Marvin Kalb, another former CBS News reporter, told The Washington Post that Kalb died at his home in the Washington suburbs following complications from a fall.
Over the course of his journalistic career, which spanned over six decades, Kalb worked at CBS News from 1962 to 1980, and accompanied former President Richard Nixon to China during his historic trip in 1972. Kalb was also responsible for the opening CBS News’ Hong Kong bureau in 1972, was a Washington anchorman on “CBS Morning News” and was well-regarded for his reporting on Southeast Asian affairs.
Kalb also co-authored two books with his brother — one a biography on Henry Kissinger, and another a novel about the fall of Saigon.
In addition to his prolific news career, Kalb is also known for a short employment stint at the U.S. State Department. In the announcement of his new role at the State Department in 1984, the New York Times called him “a widely traveled foreign correspondent,” who covered the office for eight years — through five secretaries of state — before being named as their spokesman.
“This is the first time that a journalist who covered the State Department has been named as its spokesman,” the Times wrote.
Kalb resigned publicly in 1986, after a misinformation campaign following U.S. airstrikes that had hit Moammar Gadhafi’s compound earlier in the year. The Washington Post exposed the campaign, reporting that the U.S. had leaked false information to reporters, which Kalb knew nothing about, according to The Associated Press.
“I am concerned about the impact of any such program on the credibility of the United States,” Kalb said, adding, “Anything that hurts America’s credibility, hurts America.”
He later returned to journalism, becoming the first host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” in 1992.
He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and his four daughters, Tanah, Marina, Claudia, and Sarinah, according to The Associated Press.