Eric Engberg, who retired as Washington correspondent for CBS News after 27 years with the network, died in his sleep Sunday at his home in Palmetto, Fla. He was 74.
Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather told Deadline Engberg was “one of the best television correspondents of his generation…tough but fair, and that rarity: a hard-nosed reporter with a sense of humor.”
Engberg, who started his career in radio, joined CBS News in 1975, where he worked in New York, then the Dallas bureau, until 1981 when he moved to Washington. He covered major presidential candidates and did investigative work until his retirement in 2002. He may be best remembered for his series, “Reality Check,” a franchise on the Evening News that combined fact-checking, reporting and graphics.
Engberg continued to write, contributing pieces for CBSNews.com on campaigns and society, and as CBS reports, he was in the news just last year:
When questions arose about Bill O’Reilly‘s claim of reporting from a dangerous war zone during the Falklands War in 1982, Engberg thought he saw another “reality check” opportunity. He had been with O’Reilly, then a CBS News correspondent, and other reporters who were prevented from reaching the front and were contained in Buenos Aires, where there was street violence. “It wasn’t a combat situation by any sense of the word that I know,” he told CNN. The Fox News commentator then attacked him and a war of words ensued, in which the feisty Engberg took delight in getting back in the media once more.