Charles Osgood, the esteemed veteran newsman and long-time host of “CBS Sunday Morning,” has passed away at the age of 91. Osgood’s death was confirmed on January 23 with his family stating that dementia was the cause.
Renowned for his 22-year tenure as the anchor of “CBS Sunday Morning” and his work on the radio program “The Osgood File,” his passing marks the end of an era in broadcast journalism. His family told CBS that dementia was the reason for his passing.
Osgood’s career at CBS News spanned an impressive 45 years, culminating in his retirement in September 2016. He began anchoring “CBS Sunday Morning” in 1994, a role in which he excelled, bringing the show to its highest ratings in three decades and earning it three Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Morning Program.
During his career, Osgood was widely recognized for his distinctive voice and calm, folksy delivery style. He received several awards during his lifetime, including multiple Emmy Awards for his work in broadcasting. Osgood’s tenure as the host of CBS Sunday Morning came to an end in 2016 when he retired from the role. His retirement marked a significant transition for the show, and he left a lasting legacy in the world of television journalism.
“For years now people — even friends and family — have been asking me why I keep doing this considering my age,” Osgood said as he retired. “It’s just that it’s been such a joy doing it! Who wouldn’t want to be the one who gets to introduce these terrific storytellers and the producers and writers and others who put this wonderful show together.”
Osgood said that it had been “a great run.”
Known for his distinctive style, Osgood was not just a news anchor but also a gifted writer, poet, and author. His love for poetry and music often shone through in his broadcasts, especially during the show’s holiday episodes where he would play Christmas carols on the piano.
Osgood’s contributions to journalism were widely recognized. He received numerous prestigious awards, including the Walter Cronkite Excellence in Journalism Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, the National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award, and five Emmy Awards, including a lifetime achievement honor in 2017.
Beyond his professional achievements, Osgood was celebrated for his unique approach to storytelling. His reports often featured rhymes, adding a touch of whimsy to the day’s news. This style made him a beloved figure among audiences and colleagues alike. His signature sign-off, “I’ll see you on the radio,” became iconic, reflecting his enduring presence in the world of broadcast news.
Osgood is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jean Crafton, five children, a sister, and a brother. His family expressed their gratitude to the audience for embracing him and highlighted the joy he found in his job.
“Charlie absolutely loved being part of the ‘Sunday Morning’ community,” his family said in a statement. “We’ll miss him terribly, but there is comfort in knowing his life was charmed, in large part thanks to you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for welcoming him into your homes on Sundays to share stories, and to highlight the better parts of humanity. He’ll see you on the radio.”
Charles Osgood’s contributions to the field of broadcasting will be remembered by many, and his passing is a loss to the industry and his fans. “CBS News Sunday Morning” is set to honor Osgood with a special broadcast on January 28, 2024, celebrating his remarkable career and contributions to journalism.