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Tell Us About Don Hewitt's Legacy

"60 Minutes" creator Don Hewitt died today in New York. Though many associate him with that show, and rightly so, he was a huge force in journalism for 15 years before starting the "newsmagazine" format in 1968.

He created many of the techniques of modern TV newscasts, made huge advances in how presidential conventions are covered and, perhaps mostly importantly, produced the first televised presidential debate, the 1960 encounters between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

An interview with Don Hewitt, from the Archive of American Television
(Sorry, they won't let us embed the video).

He's had a long career in television news, but is best known for 60 Minutes. So tell us what your favorite 60 Minutes story was over the years.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  August 19, 2009; 11:48 AM ET
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Hoo He Hoo HA HA, balla walla bing-bang. Who was Don Hewitt and what is he famous for?

Posted by: unclecj | August 19, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Don Hewitt is the second producer of '60 Minutes' to die of pancreatic cancer in about 3 years. George Crile, also a 60M producer, died of that disease. You'd think they'd do a major feature segment on it since it's 99% fatal, no early detection methods, and treatment options are limited. No major scandal would come out of it, but it might do a lot for awareness.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | August 19, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

don knew how to cut to the chase by asking his reporters to "Tell me a story". It's good television and just that simple. Great show, even it you leaned a little left at times. You were an excellent mentor to your reporters. It must have been a blast to produce those Mike Wallace "gotchas". RIP

Posted by: oconnellsean | August 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Don Hewitt was most famous for not recognizing what everyone else in the world understood: That 60 Minutes had run out of ideas for stories 30 years ago.

Posted by: BoonyTunes | August 19, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Don Hewitt's legacy is visible in the Al Pacino / Russell Crowe film, "The Insider" which shows the drama that can occur behind the scenes of "60 Minutes" stories. In that film, Hewitt is portrayed by Philip Baker Hall. "The Insider" is a fine film about a great news show.

Posted by: David40 | August 19, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

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