CBS News correspondent Morley Safer died on May 19, just days after 60 Minutes aired a tribute to the 84-year-old TV journalist who announced his retirement. The first half of the tribute was dedicated to Safer’s career prior to 60 Minutes. He joined CBS News in 1964. A year later he opened the CBS News Bureau in Saigon and followed a group of US Marines to the village of Cam Ne. The soldiers told the families to evacuate and then burned the thatched roofs with Zippo lighters. President Lyndon Johnson called Safer a communist and wanted him fired. He wasn’t.
In 1989, Safer returned to Vietnam and interviewed many people including a woman who won a “Hero American Killer” medal during the war, a former Time correspondent who turned out to be a North Vietnamese spy and General Vo Nguyen Giap, conquerer of the French, American and South Vietnamese armies. In 1990, his book Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam was published. It is the only book on which he’s listed as the sole author in his distinguished career.