Richard C. Hottelet, the last living member of Edward R. Murrow‘s team known as “Murrow’s Boys,” has died. Hottelet, who spent 40 years at CBS News radio and TV, died this morning at home in Wilton, Ct. He was 97.
In 1957, after years of war and post-war reporting, Hottelet anchored a 15-minute daily newscast for CBS called “Richard C. Hottelet with the News.”
“Richard C. Hottelet was the ultimate CBS News reporter,” said Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and executive producer of “60 Minutes.” “He was one of the true gentleman reporters, a real ‘Murrow boy,’ an elegant combination of reporter and storyteller.” From the CBS News obituary:
Hottelet was the last to join the team when he presented himself to Murrow in London and was hired in January 1944 to help report the imminent Allied invasion of Europe. His first war reports for CBS were from the air; he is believed to have made the first recording for broadcast on a warplane while flying on a bombing mission over France in the spring of 1944. On D-Day, Hottelet was in a bomber again, this one attacked German defenses on Utah Beach and returned to London safely in time for him to broadcast the first eyewitness report of the Allied invasion.
Hottelet was sent to Moscow after the war, where he reported on Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin’s dismantling of the alliance with the West. The Soviet government soon withdrew broadcasting rights for Hottelet and Murrow recalled him after it refused to restore those rights.
Hottelet returned to the U.S. and remained covering domestic news until assigned to open the CBS News bureau in Bonn in 1951. From West Germany, the new Bonn correspondent covered the move to democracy in that country and the troubles over the wall in Communist East Berlin, where Soviet tanks crushed the first workers’ uprising in Eastern Europe. He went to Warsaw in 1956 to report on the Polish uprising there.
The other “Murrow’s Boys” – and one woman – all of whom reported from Europe in World War II, are: Mary “Marvin” Breckinridge Patterson, Cecil Brown, Winston Burdett, Larry LeSueur, Charles Collingwood, William Downs, Thomas Grandin, Eric Sevareid, William L. Shirer and Howard K. Smith.
Richard Curt Hottelet was born in Brooklyn on September 22, 1917. He attended Berlin University in 1938, where he began his journalism career with United Press. In 1941 he married Ann Delafield, a British woman he met in Berlin. She died in 2013. They had a daughter, Antonia Guzman and a son, Richard Peter Hottelet, both of whom predeceased Hottelet. He is survived by four grandchildren: Maria Hottelet Foley of Cambridge, Henry Hottelet, Pete Hottelet of Oakland, Calif., and Caleb Hottelet; and two great grandchildren.
The family has tentative plans for a memorial service in the spring.