After 52 years at CBS News, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante has called it a career. And what a career it has been. Plante covered every major story of the past half-century, from the Civil Rights Movement to the election of the first black president.
Plante came to CBS News as a young reporter in 1964. In his audition reel, his stated goals foreshadowed a his long, varied career. “Politics, general assignment, writing, editing, reporting, air work, you name it, I’d like to do it,” he said.
A young Bill Plante covered the 1974 “Mississippi Burning” murders.
The Civil Rights Movement
Plante also covered the historic marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Here, he interviewed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for CBS.
First black president
Fifty-one years after the Selma marches, Plante toured the new Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture with the first black president, Barack Obama.
The Vietnam War
Bill Plante did four tours reporting on the Vietnam War for CBS News.
The Fall of Saigon
Plante reported from Vietnam during the Fall of Saigon in 1975.
Like a fine wine
Bill Plante, center, pouring wine with Ronald Reagan, second from left, looking on.
Impressing the president
Plante climbed over other members of the press corps to his seat in the White House briefing room while President Bill Clinton was coming to the podium.
“That was very impressive,” Clinton quipped.
Plante questioned President Bill Clinton. He covered four administrations during his time at CBS News.
Flying with Bush
Plante interviews President George W. Bush.
Plante at the White House
In 2003, Plante got a very special tour of the White House during the holiday season from first lady Laura Bush.
Plante enjoys a moment of levity while reporting in the field.
Plante's words of wisdom
Bill Plante spoke to friends and colleagues at his retirement party in Washington.
“Fifty years plus, I have had a wonderful window, a closeup, on the human condition, telling the stories of civil rights and of the wastes of war and the politics of power. Through it all, you come to see how human nature is universal. People continue to behave in both altruistic and destructive ways. So that’s why what we do continues to be so important,” he said.