STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/CBS News) — Harry Radliffe II, the first African American to head a CBS News bureau and an award-wining 60 Minutes producer for 26 years, died Tuesday.

CBS News reported Radliffe died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, of colon cancer with which he was first diagnosed in 2008. He was 66.

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Radliffe had been working until recently on a story for 60 Minutes about a special orphanage in Tanzania, CBS News reported. The trip to Africa was his last for the program, one of the many that brought him joy and fulfillment during his 40 years in television news.

Radliffe traveled around the world to produce stories for the top CBS News correspondents, including Walter Cronkite, Ed Bradley, Steve Kroft, Bob Simon and Scott Pelley, CBS News reported.

As bureau chief in London in the 1980s, he supervised coverage of some of the biggest foreign news events of the time, such as the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, the rise of terrorism in Europe and turmoil in the Middle East, CBS News reported. He contributed nearly 100 stories to 60 Minutes, where he won the Peabody award, television’s highest honor.

He was a reporter who absorbed the world around him, discovering its truths and pleasures. As an international relations scholar, Radliffe brought a comprehensive knowledge of foreign affairs to the faraway places he covered, where he also found the finest museums, restaurants, hotels and the world’s natural wonders. On his trip to Tanzania he took in the enormous expanse of the Ngorongoro Crater, CBS News reported.
His colleagues at 60 Minutes came to count on him for his sage advice and contacts when they went overseas, especially for the best places to eat — one of his favorite pastimes. He was a dear friend to many on the broadcast, especially 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager, whom he befriended in London 30 years ago, CBS News reported.

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“It is hard to imagine not having Harry with us anymore. He has been an essential part of our lives, our broadcast, and our entire news organization. His body of work is among the most remarkable and diverse in 60 Minutes history. He was elegant, decent and a wonderful friend to so many of us. We are all better off that Harry was in our lives. We will miss him very much,” Fager said Tuesday.

He began his career as a reporter at KGW-TV Portland, Ore., in 1973. He was only on-air a few years, but his broadcaster’s baritone became useful again years later on 60 Minutes, where it could be heard in the English voiceovers of foreign language interviews.

In 1975, Radliffe began work at the CBS News Washington Bureau as assistant editor, but quickly moved over to ABC News as an associate producer, where he spent the next three years. He was then hired in New York to be a producer on “The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite” in January 1979, CBS News reported.

Harry Anderson Radliffe II was born in Indianapolis, Ind., January 1, 1949. He attended the local high school and went on to study briefly at Purdue and then the Jesuit-founded Universidad Iberoamericano in Mexico City. In 1971, he was graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and went on to the school’s prestigious Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, from which he received his master’s degree in 1973, CBS News reported.

He is survived by his brother, Brian, and his sister Betty Jo Williams.

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Plans for a memorial service will be announced in the coming weeks, CBS News reported.