Mitchell Krauss, a Middle East correspondent for CBS News who was wounded in the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, died on January 27 at Northern Dutchess Hospital in New York, near his home in Rhinebeck. He was 90 and died from kidney failure.
Krauss was the correspondent and the bureau chief in Cairo during a 25-year career at CBS News. On October 6, 1981, he was covering a military parade and was near enough to the Egyptian leader to suffer a shrapnel wound to his leg in the grenade and automatic weapons attack that killed Sadat.
One of only a few reporters on the scene, he was able to file an audio report that was broadcast later as part of a CBS Special Report on the assassination. Krauss then managed to get on a flight to Rome with the CBS videotape of the event before the Cairo airport was shut down.
He later covered the trials of the religious extremists who killed Sadat and the subsequent administration of the new President Hosni Mubarak.
Krauss served as a CBS news correspondent on television and radio from 1972 to 1997. His Middle East beat included assignments in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Israel, including the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. He was the News Division’s United Nations correspondent and Economic correspondent in New York before being posted abroad. Krauss was also a past president of the Economic Broadcasters Association.
His television reports appeared regularly on the CBS Evening News, anchored by Walter Cronkite, and in the 1980s when the broadcast was helmed by Dan Rather.
In the 1990s, he appeared mostly on radio, anchoring hourly national news reports and the daily CBS World News Roundup. His live news anchoring on the radio included coverage of the Anita Hill hearings and the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle.
Krauss joined CBS News from Channel 13, the PBS station in New York, where he was a news correspondent and the host of the late-evening Newsfront, America’s first non-commercial, live daily news program, syndicated on several PBS stations.
Before that, he could be heard internationally on Radio New York Worldwide. In the 1950s, he began his career in news broadcasting in local radio in New York at WQXR, and then in Philadelphia at WFLN and WIP.
Krauss was born Sept. 17, 1930 in New York City. He received his bachelor’s degree from New York University in 1951 and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953. He served in the US Army.
The newsman continued to pursue his interest in global affairs during his retirement and lectured on the role of media in society, world affairs, and the history of broadcasting, mostly in conjunction with the World Affairs Forum, for which he served in a leadership role for the past 30 years. The forum was located in Stamford, Conn., where Krauss and his family previously lived for decades.
Krauss is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elisabeth, and his daughter, Jennifer, both of Rhinebeck, NY; a son, David, and daughter-in-law, Becky, of Albuquerque, N.M.: a brother, Anthony, of Woodstock, N.Y.; and four grandchildren.
No details have been released on a memorial service.