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HomeEntertainmentGeorge Watson, former ABC News Washington Bureau Chief, dies at age 86

George Watson, former ABC News Washington Bureau Chief, dies at age 86


George Watson, former bureau chief in Washington, White House correspondent and vice president of ABC News, died Thursday, a network spokesperson announced. He turned 86.

After serving as correspondent and bureau chief in Moscow and London, covering major events in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Watson returned to the US in 1975 as ABC News’ White House correspondent.

A year later, he was named bureau chief and vice president of Washington, a position he held twice, for a total of 12 years.

Born in 1936, Watson graduated from Harvard University, where he was editor-in-chief of The Harvard Crimson. Between stints as a reporter before The Detroit News And The Washington Postreceived his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

He began his broadcasting career at ABC News in Washington in 1962 as a radio show writer Edward P. Morgan and the News, was then correspondent from 1965-68. On a special assignment in 1968 and 1970, he covered some of the toughest fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Watson was appointed chief correspondent and bureau chief in London in 1970, and his ABC News special Terror in Northern Ireland won an Overseas Press Club Award for best foreign affairs documentary.

He left in 1980 to become vice president and editor-in-chief of the fledgling CNN, but returned to ABC News a year later to serve as vice president in New York as the first network executive responsible for overseeing policy, the standards and practices for news programming.

He also developed and produced point of view, a program designed to provide a forum for viewer criticism of ABC News in particular and journalism in general. During his employment, point of view won an Emmy, a Peabody, and the duPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

Watson returned to Washington in 1985 for his second tour as bureau chief. He retired in 1993, but spent the next eight years providing commentary and analysis for radio and the late night show World news now.

He was also director of the Committee to Protect Journalists from 1982-93.

Survivors include his wife, Ellen.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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