Charles Osgood, Former Longtime Host of CBS Sunday Morning, Dies at 91

By Mark Mwachiro 

For many viewers, it was impossible not to associate the sound of trumpets and the soothing voice of Charles Osgood as a warm and welcome wake-up call to the peacefulness of a Sunday morning.

Sadly, the CBS Sunday Morning host from 1994-2016 passed away as a result of dementia on Tuesday at his home in New Jersey. He was 91 years old.

In a statement, his family said, “Charlie absolutely loved being part of the ‘Sunday Morning’ community. 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.”


Osgood’s loss is being mourned by the CBS News family and the media family at large. Jane Pauley, Osgood’s longtime friend and current host of the show, described him as a “masterclass in communication,” saying, “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. Watching him on TV, or listening on the radio, as I did for years, was to feel like you knew him, and he knew you. He brought a unique sensibility, curiosity, and his trademark whimsy to ‘Sunday Morning,’ and it endures.”

CBS News president Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews added, “Charles Osgood is one of the legendary journalists who made CBS News 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.”

Osgood was an award-winning journalist with a broadcast career lasting nearly 50 years. Forty-five years of his illustrious career were spent at CBS News, with 22 of those spent as host of the magazine show CBS Sunday Morning. Osgood retired from CBS News in Sept. 2016, handing the Sunday Morning reins to Pauley.

He left the show on a high note as it finished the 2015-2016 broadcast year as the No. 1 Sunday morning news program in viewers and the A25-54 demo. At that time, it was the show’s best-audience delivery in at least 28 years.

Speaking to CBS News when he retired, Osgood said, “For years now, people — even friends and family — have been asking me why I keep doing this considering my age. 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.”

He was also a prolific radio news personality, having wrote and hosted The Osgood File, which were written radio commentaries on the day’s news, broadcast up to four times a day, five days a week.

Osgood is survived by his wife of 50 years, the former Jean Crafton; five children (Kathleen Wood Griffis, Kenneth Winston Wood, Anne-E Wood, Emily J. Wood, and Jamie Wood); a sister, Mary Ann; and a brother, Ken. His first marriage to Theresa Audette ended in divorce after 16 years.

A special 90-minute edition of CBS Sunday Morning honoring Osgood will air this Sunday, Jan. 28.

Watch CBS News’ tribute to Osgood below.


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