WILTON, Conn. -- Famed broadcast journalist and Wilton resident Richard C. Hottelet died on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at his home. He was 97.
Hottelet was most widely recognized for his work with CBS News, where he had a 40-year career. He began his career as a reporter with United Press International and was arrested by Germans during World War II under suspicion of being a spy. He was released after four months in captivity in a prisoner exchange in 1941.
Hottelet was known as one of “Murrow’s Boys,’’ whose World War II radio reports under the direction of Edwin R. Murrow set the standard for broadcast journalism. Among the other “Murrow Boys” were well-known journalists Eric Sevareid, William Shirer, Howard K. Smith and Mary “Marvin” Breckinridge Patterson, the only woman among the group.
“Richard C. Hottelet was the ultimate CBS News reporter," Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and executive producer of "60 Minutes," said on the CBS website. "He was one of the true gentleman reporters, a real 'Murrow boy,' an elegant combination of reporter and storyteller."
He was the last to join “Murrow’s Boys” in 1944, at age 26. He reported on D-Day from a warplane, and also filed reports on the Battle of the Bulge and Huertgen Forest. He delivered the first eyewitness report of the Battle of the Bulge.
Hottelet reported from Paris and was in a bomber plane to cover the final Allied push into Germany, the CBS story said. After his plane was set afire during the assault, he parachuted to safety.
Hottelet retired from CBS in 1985. He served as the public affairs counselor for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, worked as a commentator on public affairs and had a two-year stint as a G.W. Welling Presidential Fellow at George Washington University. He continued to guest lecture each semester at George Washington until his death. His last lecture, delivered via phone to a journalism class, was in September, according to the CBS story.
Hottelet was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sept. 22, 1917. He graduated from Brooklyn College and also attended Berlin College. He was predeceased in 2013 by his wife, Anna, whom he married in 1941. He was also predeceased by his daughter, Antonia Guzman, and son, Richard. He is survived by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The family has tentative plans for a memorial service in the spring.
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