Murray Fromson, a longtime CBS News war correspondent and later director of the USC journalism school, died Saturday, his family announced.

He was 88 and in failing health.

Fromson was at the Korean armistice talks in 1953 in Panmunjom, filing reports via shortwave radio to CBS Radio, and was in Saigon in 1975 when the last American choppers flew out. He and his CBS colleagues were awarded two Overseas Press Club awards for their reporting on the fall of South Vietnam.

He also was assigned to the Soviet Union, two U.S. presidential campaigns and the civil rights movement in the southern United States during a 35-year career at CBS and before that, the Associated Press. He filed to “The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite” from Tokyo, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, New Delhi, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Moscow, Bangkok, Saigon and Hong Kong, according to his biography at USC.

In 1969, he served as a founding member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. It has represented individual journalists involved in court challenges testing their First Amendment rights for 49 years.

“He was a guy whose search for the truth was a lifelong pursuit and whose journalistic legacy will endure,” said his decades-long competitor from up the dial, retired NBC News correspondent George Lewis, Saturday from Santa Monica.

Fromson was deputy campaign manager for Gov. Jerry Brown in his 197y8 campaign, and then was moderator of a statewide television program on public TV stations, “California Week in Review.”

Fromson joined the USC faculty in 1982, and was director of the School of Journalism from 1994-99. There, he founded the Center for International Journalism for seven years, and directed it as it recruited 115 working journalists to earn Master’s Degrees, specializing in reporting on Mexico and Cuba.

In the year 2000, he was named a fellow in the Joan Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.

In 2003 and 2004, Fromson was a judge of the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, as well as a judge in the history category for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.

Fromson had recently been in an assisted living center, where he died Saturday. He is survived by his wife Dodi, daughter Aliza Ben Tal, and son Derek Fromson.

No services have been announced.

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