Charles Osgood, who is best known as the longtime host of CBS Sunday Morning and the radio program The Osgood File, passed away at his home in New Jersey on Tuesday, Jan. 23. He was 91 years old at the time of his death.
Osgood’s loved ones confirmed to CBS News that the cause of his death was dementia. His former employer had nothing but praise for him, describing him as a gifted news writer, poet, and author. Osgood spent 45 years with the network before officially retiring in September 2016.
“Osgood began anchoring CBS Sunday Morning” in 1994,” the network explained. “During his run on the show it reached its highest ratings levels in three decades, and three times earned the Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Morning Program.”
CBS News then quoted Charles Osgood for the speech he made when he retired in 2016. “For years now people – even friends and family – have been asking me why I keep doing this considering my age,” he said. “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 also stated at the time that his career at CBS News had “been a great run.”
CBS News Employees Pay Tribute to Charles Osgood
In a statement, CBS Sunday Morning executive producer, Rand Morrison, also had supportive words about the late journalist.
“To say there’s no one like Charles Osgood is an understatement,” Morrison explained. “He embodied the heart and soul of Sunday Morning. His signature bow tie, his poetry… Just his presence was special for the audience, and for those of us who worked with him. At the piano, Charlie put our lives to music. Truly, he was one of a kind – in every sense.”
Jane Pauley, who succeeded Osgood as host of CBS Sunday Morning in 2016, stated that watching him at work was a masterclass in communicating. “I’ll still think to myself, ‘How would Charlie say it?’, trying to capture the elusive warmth and intelligence of his voice and delivery. I expect I’ll go on trying. He was one of the best broadcast stylists and one of the last. His style was so natural and unaffected it communicated his authenticity. He connected with people.”
Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, President of CBS News, described Charles Osgood as one of the legendary journalists who made the network what it is today. “His commitment to the craft, especially to the art of writing, left an indelible impression on the field. He was a mentor and friend to many. His impact will be felt on CBS News for decades to come.”
Meanwhile, CBS Sunday Morning will be honoring Osgood with a special broadcast on Jan. 28.