Former CBS News correspondent Bill McLaughlin died this morning. The diplomatic and foreign correspondent, who headed bureaus in Germany and Lebanon for CBS News in the late 1960s and ‘70s, died from cardiac arrest in a Waterbury, CT hospital. McLaughlin lived in France and was visiting friends in the U.S. at the time of his death. He was 76.
McLaughlin’s television news career spanned 27 years, nearly all of it with CBS News; he left for two years in late 1979 to report for NBC News as its United Nations correspondent. He spent a decade overseas on his CBS news assignments, including the Paris bureau, where he met his wife, the former Huguette Cord’homme, who survives him. He covered the gamut of overseas events, from the Vietnam War, to terrorism to the conflicts in the war-torn Middle East, appearing on the CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite, CBS Radio News and other CBS News broadcasts, including CBS Reports documentaries. From 1983 to 1993, when he left CBS news, he was a State Department correspondent, and general assignment reporter in the Washington Bureau. This job, too, sent him overseas on a regular basis, covering the diplomatic travels of secretaries of state, including George Shultz.
McLaughlin joined CBS News as a reporter in 1966 in Paris. His reporting from Europe, the Middle East, Cyprus and Athens earned him a promotion to correspondent and the title of bureau chief in Bonn, Germany in 1968. He served there until being sent to cover the Vietnam War in 1969. After leaving the Saigon Bureau in June 1970, he was sent back in 1972 to cover the North Vietnamese offensive and the battles for Hue and Kontum City. He returned once more in 1975 to report on the fall of Vietnam and Cambodia. In 1971, he was named bureau chief in Beirut, from which he covered conflicts in the Middle East, including the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. He also reported from the Six-Day War in 1967, the conflict between India and Pakistan in 1971 and the aftermath of the attack by the Black September Group, the Palestinian terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.