© Reuters. CBS News correspondent Roger Mudd is seen at the United States Capital to cover the Civil Rights debate in Washington


By Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) – Roger Mudd, the longtime CBS News political correspondent whose 1979 interview with Edward Kennedy is credited with helping derail the Democratic senator’s presidential campaign, died on Tuesday at age 93, the network said.

Mudd, who covered politics and national affairs at CBS for two decades before working at NBC News, PBS and the History Channel, died at his home in McLean, Virginia, of complications from kidney failure, according to a CBS News statement.

His death was first reported by the Washington Post.

Mudd was best known for his 1979 televised interview with Kennedy as the prominent liberal senator from Massachusetts prepared to announce his bid to challenge Democratic President Jimmy Carter for their party’s 1980 presidential nomination.

The interview, in which Kennedy appeared awkward and unsure of his reasons for seeking the presidency under Mudd’s tough questioning, was later seen as pivotal in dooming the senator’s presidential prospects. Carter defeated Kennedy for the nomination before losing the general election to Republican Ronald Reagan.

“Rest In Peace Roger Mudd. A broadcast JOURNALIST in the true sense of the word,” Tom Fitzgerald, an anchor and reporter on Fox 5 DC, said on Twitter.

“With one simple question ‘Why do you want to be President?’ He derailed Ted Kennedy’s 1980 campaign. These are important times we are living in. We need to follow his example now more than ever.”

Mudd, who was born in Washington, D.C., began his career in the 1950s as a newspaper and radio reporter in Richmond, Virginia.

Joining CBS News as a congressional correspondent in 1961, he went on to report some of the biggest stories in Washington over the next two decades, including passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, extravagant Pentagon spending during the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.

A frequent fill-in and weekend anchor for the “CBS Evening News,” Mudd left CBS for rival NBC News when the nightly newscast anchor chair was awarded to Dan Rather following Walter Cronkite’s retirement.

He served briefly as co-anchor with Tom Brokaw of “NBC Nightly News” before Brokaw took over as sole anchor of the broadcast.

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