Charles Collingwood (journalist)

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Charles Collingwood
Charles Collingwood murrow27s boys.jpg
With Jacqueline Kennedy at the White House during the taping of A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy.
Born (1917-06-04)June 4, 1917
Three Rivers, Michigan, U.S.
Died October 3, 1985(1985-10-03) (aged 68)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Education Deep Springs College
Cornell University
Oxford University
Occupation Broadcast journalist
Notable credit(s) CBS News
Spouse(s) Louise Allbritton
(m. 1946; d. 1979)

Tatiana Jolin
(19??; his death 1985)

Charles Collingwood (June 4, 1917 – October 3, 1985) was an American journalist and war correspondent. He was an early member of Edward R. Murrow's group of reporters that was known as the "Murrow Boys." Collingwood was also among the early ranks of television journalists that included Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, and Murrow himself.[1]

Early life[edit]

Collingwood was born in Three Rivers, Michigan, he attended Deep Springs College and graduated from Cornell University. In 1939, he received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University.

Wartime broadcaster[edit]

He covered World War II for United Press in London and was soon recruited to CBS by Murrow. He established himself as an urbane and spontaneously-eloquent on-air journalist.

1943 portrait of war correspondent Charles Collingwood (Henry Carr)

In 1942, Collingwood was sent to cover the North African Campaign, where he proved his reporting abilities despite being considered "green" as a broadcast journalist.[2]

On D-Day, he landed at Utah Beach hours after the first wave of soldiers had hit the beaches. Of the CBS reporters accompanying the ground invasion, he recorded a report on June 6 that made it to broadcast two days later,[3] the other CBS correspondents on the ground, Bill Downs and Larry LeSueur, were not able to deliver reports until days later because of trouble setting up mobile transmitters.[2]

When General Omar Bradley told Collingwood that the Free French Resistance was about to rise up and liberate Paris, Collingwood prepared and sent a recording with news of the liberation to CBS in London so that it would be ready when the city was actually freed. The recording bore a label that said to hold it back until Paris was actually liberated, but the technician at CBS did not read the label and immediately aired the recording, on that day, August 22, there were still thousands of German troops in Paris, and the Resistance fighters who were fighting and dying did not appreciate that the world was told that Paris had been liberated. The city would not be actually liberated until three days later, on August 25.

Postwar broadcater[edit]

After the war, Collingwood remained with CBS and established himself as a television journalist. One of his first roles on television was as host of the CBS documentary series Adventure, which was produced in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History.[4] He went on to become the chief correspondent of CBS and host of its Eyewitness to History series, he was a leading figure in CBS's expansion to include international coverage.

Collingwood accompanied the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy on a televised tour of the White House, the which she had renovated during the first year of the presidency of her husband, John F. Kennedy. The resulting program, A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy, was broadcast on Valentine's Day in 1962 and was seen by 80 million viewers and broadcast in 50 countries, including Russia and China.[5]

He served as substitute anchor during portions of CBS's coverage of the Kennedy assassination, relieving Walter Cronkite only minutes after Cronkite had announced the official confirmation of Kennedy's death.[6]

In the late 1960s, Collingwood was the first US reporter allowed into North Vietnam, the visit was largely the inspiration for Collingwood's 1970 espionage novel, The Defector. The book received critical praise for its merits as a thriller and for its insights into the complexities of the Vietnam War.

Collingwood later covered the White House and numerous other sites.

Later life[edit]

Collingwood retired in 1982, he died from cancer on October 3, 1985 at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to actress Louise Allbritton from 1946 until she died of cancer in 1979, he later married the Swedish singer Tatiana Angelini-Jolin (Scheremetiew) (1923-2006) and remained married to her until his death.


  1. ^ Olson, Lynne and Cloud, Stanley W. The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism. October 31, 1997. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-395-87753-9.
  2. ^ a b Edwards, Bob (2010). Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 1118039998. 
  3. ^ Bowman, Martin (2013). Bloody Beaches. Pen and Sword. p. 159. ISBN 1781591784. 
  4. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1976). The Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs 1947-1976 (Vol. 1). South Brunswick and New York: A.S. Barnes and Company. ISBN 0-498-01561-0.
  5. ^ Michael Curtin. "Television". Museum of Broadcast Communications - A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Cronkite, Walter (1997). A Reporter's Life. Random House, Inc. p. 305. ISBN 0-345-41103-X. 

External links[edit]