Bill Plante, Longtime CBS News Correspondent, Has Died

Bill Plante of CBS News at RTDNF First Amendment Awards
(Image credit: Stephen Boitano/Getty Images)

Bill Plante, a correspondent who spent 52 years at CBS News, died September 28 in Washington. He was 84 and the cause was respiratory failure. 

Plante was the senior White House correspondent at CBS News under Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was a State Department correspondent during the presidency of George H.W. Bush.

Plante was born in Chicago in 1938. He worked in radio news while at Loyola University in Chicago, and later was assistant news director at WISN Milwaukee. He studied political science at Columbia University under a CBS fellowship, said The New York Times, and joined CBS News in 1964. He reported from Vietnam a number of times, and also covered civil rights from the American South. 

Plante covered all the presidential elections from 1968 to 2016, and was anchor of CBS Sunday Night News from 1988 to 1995. 

Plante retired from CBS News as senior White House correspondent in 2016 after 52 years with the network. 

“He was brilliant, as a reporter and as a human being,” 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl said on CBSNews.com (opens in new tab). “There wasn't anything Bill didn't excel at in our profession: he was a gifted writer, a first-class deadline maker and a breaker of major stories. He’ll be remembered for his reports from the White House lawn, his booming voice that presidents always answered and his kind heart.” ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.