John Mosedale, Former CBS Evening News Writer, Passes Away

By Chris Ariens 

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John Mosedale, a writer for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and later The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather passed away yesterday at his home. Mosdale had been battling esophageal cancer. He was 84. A memorial service will be held Friday, March 26, at 11am at St. Michael’s Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

• Note from CBS News & Sports president Sean McManus after the jump…

From: McManus, Sean
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:47 PM
Subject: Message from Sean McManus
Importance: High

I am sorry to tell you that John Mosedale, a longtime writer for CBS News and CBS Sports, died yesterday, from esophageal cancer. He was 84.
Many knew John best as the “all else” writer on the CBS Evening News, from 1978 to 1991. While one writer handled Washington stories and another foreign, John said his job was “to write about the economy and other natural disasters. Let the government issue an unemployment report, let a train derail, let a picture of the Virgin appear mysteriously on a corn silo, and I was set to reduce the event to a couple of lines…”
Anyone who has worked on the Evening News, with its deadline pressure, will appreciate his description of the experience: “I spent the day in laughter that ended in panic.”
John’s passion for Shakespeare was legendary. He wore a Shakespeare pin on his lapel, and in a book John wrote after retiring, he said, “not a day of my life passes that I don’t think of Shakespeare and it is a rare and wasted day when I do not read something by him.”
John began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter and editor. He moved to television as a writer for “Eye on New York” on WCBS-TV, then joined CBS News in 1961 as a writer on “Calendar ” with Harry Reasoner.
In 1963, John joined CBS Sports as its first-full time writer. His assignments included the original “NFL Today.”
Over the years, bouncing between news and sports, John wrote for Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Douglas Edwards and Charles Kuralt, and Jack Whitaker, Brent Musburger, Phyllis George, Tom Harmon and Jimmy the Greek.
John wrote four non-fiction books, including “The Greatest of All: The 1927 Yankees” and “The First Year: A Retirement Journal,” and a novel, “The Church of Shakespeare.”
John’s last piece of writing was a very poignant essay about what he knew would be the final Shakespeare performance he would ever see, Jude Law in Hamlet.
Our condolences go out to John’s beloved wife of 53 years, Betty; their children Amy, Laura, Andrew and Mike, and their five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at St. Michael’s Church, 99th St. and Amsterdam Ave., March 26th, at 11 a.m.
The family says that, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Leech Lake Area Boys & Girls Club, PO Box 817, Cass Lake, MN 56633