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CBS News Pioneer LeSueur Dies

Larry LeSueur, one of the last surviving "Murrow Boys," the correspondents hired by Edward R. Murrow to cover the Second World War for CBS News, died Wednesday at his home in Washington after a long battle against Parkinson's disease. LeSueur was 93.

LeSueur's wife Dorothy said he was listening to Secretary of State Powell's U.N. appearance on the radio when he passed away quietly.

A memorial service will be held in Washington, probably next week.

LeSueur, born Laurence Edward LeSueur, was the author of the 1943 book "12 Months that Changed the World," about the critical battles of the Eastern front in 1941 and 1942. He covered the Soviet Union for CBS during those years.

According to the 1996 book "The Murrow Boys" by Stanley Cloud and Lynne Olson, LeSueur was hired by Murrow while freelancing in London in 1939. A third-generation newsman, LeSueur had been a wire service reporter for United Press.

In a series called "London After Dark," LeSueur, Murrow and Eric Sevareid reported on the nighttime sights and sounds of London during the Nazi Blitz.

During his CBS career he also covered D-Day, and the liberation of Paris. He also reported from the Dachau concentration camp as it was liberated.

On D-Day, in 1944, LeSueur landed on Normandy beach with U.S. troops and was the first correspondent to broadcast from the American beachhead. He was made an honorary member of the 4th Division of the 8th Infantry and awarded the Medal of Freedom.

LeSueur reported the first news of the liberation of Paris, for which he was cited by the War Department for "outstanding and conspicuous service" and awarded the French Legion of Honor. He also covered the liberation of the Dachau and Manthauson concentration camps.

"Larry LeSueur was one of a small number of reporters who gave the American people a better idea of what World War II was about than they have had about any war since," said CBS News 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney, who met LeSueur in Paris while on assignment himself for Stars and Stripes during the war.

"I had come into Paris with a French armored division from another direction. I met Larry on the street and he asked me if I would do a radio report for CBS," said Rooney. "I owe Larry the first job I ever had at CBS."

LeSueur later became CBS White House correspondent and covered the Paris Peace Conference. A year later, he began covering the United Nations. He won a Peabody Award in 1949 for his radio coverage of the U.N. session in Paris.

LeSueur left CBS News in 1963 and spent the next 20 years at the Voice of America.

"He was one of the greatest war reporters that there have ever been," said Stanley Cloud, who co-authored "The Murrow Boys" with his wife, Lynne Olson.

"He did remarkable things," Cloud said, adding that LeSueur was "a gentleman, soft-spoken and modest."

"He was a very happy man, full of fun," said Richard C. Hottelet, a former CBS News colleague who worked with LeSueur in London. "He always looked at the bright side of things."

LeSueur was last heard on CBS Radio in late 1999 when he joined former colleagues Hottelet, Howard K. Smith, Mary "Marvin" Breckinridge Patterson, Robert Trout and Ed Bliss in a "20th Century Roundup." All but Hottelet have since died.

The "Murrow Boys" were America's first broadcast journalists, covering the events in Europe for CBS Radio broadcasts, starting with the Nazi takeover of Austria.