Bernard Kalb, the legendary journalist best known as the founding anchor and panelist for CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program, died on Sunday at age 100, according to multiple reports.
Kalb died at his home in Bethesda, Md., due to complications from a fall, his brother and fellow journalist Marvin Kalb told the Washington Post. His daughter, Claudia Kalb, told the New York Times that the fall occurred on Jan. 2.
He served as the first host of CNN’s now-defunct media analysis show following its debut in 1992. He remained in the role until 2001, when he was succeeded by co-host Howard Kurtz, who was a media critic at the Washington Post at the time.
Kalb’s stewardship kicked off a successful run for “Reliable Sources,” which was CNN’s longest-tenured program before it was canceled last August. The network fired the show’s host Brian Stelter but the brand remains active in the form of a media newsletter.
Kalb worked as a print journalist for years before making the switch to television. He was a reporter at the New York Times for newly two decades before eventual stints at CBS and NBC.
He and his brother co-authored a biography on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that was published in 1974, as well as a novel on the fall of Saigon, Vietnam called “The Last Ambassador.”
Kalb worked a brief term as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs during the Reagan administration beginning in 1984. He resigned in protest in 1986 after a news report exposed a government-backed disinformation effort aimed at destabilizing Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy’s regime. Kalb said he was unaware of the plan.
“I am concerned about the impact of any such program on the credibility of the United States,” Kalb said at the time. “Anything that hurts America’s credibility, hurts America.”
Kalb spent the latter years of his career working as a moderator and guest lecturer.
Born in New York City in 1922, Kalb graduated from City College and spent two years in the US Army during World War II. While working as an Army journalist, Kalb’s editor was the famed detective novelist, “Maltese Falcon” author Dashiell Hammett.
Kalb is survived by his wife and four daughters.
With Post wires
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