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The University of Texas at Austin


In Memoriam: Philip Scheffler

Philip Scheffler. Courtesy of CBS NewsPhilip Scheffler. Courtesy of CBS News

The Briscoe Center is saddened by news of the death of Philip Scheffler, CBS News' first television street reporter and executive editor of "60 Minutes" for many years. Scheffler's papers are housed at the Briscoe Center.

"Philip Scheffler rose through the ranks at CBS to become a vital part of their first-class documentary reporting," said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. "His papers will help carry on his legacy, continuing to serve as a guide for students and scholars who seek to understand what excellence in journalism means and entails."

Scheffler was born in New York City in 1930. He graduated from the City College of New York. He was hired by CBS in 1951 as a copy boy, responsible for creating and holding up cue cards for anchor Don Hewitt. Scheffler quickly became the station's first street reporter and played a role in the development of the teleprompter. In 1953 he was drafted as part of the Korean War but convinced his superiors that he could better serve by producing and writing stories for CBS covering the armed forces. He went on to produce more than 100 documentaries for CBS, taking him to 47 states and 50 nations including Vietnam. In 1980 he became the senior producer at "60 Minutes," having a direct hand in virtually every segment of the broadcast until 2003.

The Philip Scheffler Papers, spanning 1955 to 2004, contain interview transcripts, show scripts, expense itemizations and professional correspondence. The papers document Scheffler's work on "60 Minutes" from 1971 to 2003, and they also contain personal correspondence, professional memos, audio-visual materials and awards information. The collection complements other holdings at the center related to CBS News producers Sig Mickelson and Les Midgley, as well as the papers of CBS reporters Dan Rather, Bruce Morton and Walter Cronkite.