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Andy Rooney's Friend Don Hewitt

Andy Rooney Explains The Legacy Left By His Longtime Friend Don Hewitt

It seems likely that before this broadcast you may not have known much about Don Hewitt, one of the most important people there has ever been in television.

I met Don in London in 1943 when I was a reporter for the Army newspaper, The Stars and Stripes. Don came to our office in the London Times building often because he was doing public relations for The Merchant Marine at the time.

It isn't an exaggeration to say that Don invented television news the way we all know it today. He was the producer and director of Douglas Edwards with the CBS-TV News beginning in 1948 and later became producer of the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.

It wouldn't mean much to you I suppose, but Don was one of my oldest friends. He was surely the best friend I've ever had that I disagreed with most often.

Don's death is really sad for me. It isn't what you tuned to 60 Minutes to hear I know but it would be wrong for me not to tell you because, more than anyone else, Don Hewitt was responsible for the content and style of this broadcast, 60 Minutes. If you're watching, you must care.

Over the years, Don came up with much of what we're used to seeing on all of television news now. He developed the way the three networks do their news and he made this broadcast, 60 Minutes, what it is. You wouldn't be seeing me now if it were not for Don.

We can do this show without him but television will never be the same without the great Don Hewitt.

Written by Andy Rooney