Robert J. “Bob” Fuss, the longtime radio journalist who covered everything from Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential election campaign to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton to 15 Academy Awards ceremonies while posted in Los Angeles, died Sunday at 64.
Fuss, who used crutches his entire life, won the Radio-TV Correspondents Association’s career achievement award in 2015, a year after he retired from CBS News where he was a congressional correspondent from 1998-2014. His first major assignment for CBS was Clinton’s impeachment hearings.
Before that, Fuss covered Congress for Mutual and NBC Radio for seven years. He got his start in radio working for Stanford’s campus station KZSU, becoming a freelance reporter for UPI covering the Patty Hearst case in 1974. He eventually became UPI Radio’s Los Angeles bureau chief.
Born on March 15, 1954, in Bay Shore, NY, Fuss’ family moved to Woodland Hills, CA when he was young. In his self-published autobiography Kidnapped by Nuns and Other Stories of a Life on the Radio, he said he was born “with a whole range of birth defects similar to spina bifida” and was not expected to live past childhood.
Instead, in addition to a full career that included covering the 2000 presidential election and ensuing Florida recount and Supreme Court ruling and the overthrow of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, he whitewater rafted on the Colorado and Zambezi rivers, went canoeing off Panama, and hiked glaciers in Antarctica.
According to the obit on CBS News’ site today, former CBS News Radio GM Michael Freedman called Fuss “a reporter’s reporter, a trusted, unselfish and immensely well-liked colleague but most important a gentle soul.”