Marion Goldin, Award-Winning ‘60 Minutes’ Producer, Dies at 76

Marion Goldin, Award-Winning ‘60 Minutes’ Producer, Dies at 76

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“Finding obscure, Watergate-related persons among the delegates, facing skepticism if not outright opposition from our bosses, plus explicit memos from the Republican Party describing this convention as a coronation of President Nixon,” she wrote, adding: “We turned the 1972 Republican convention into a vehicle for bringing the Watergate saga to a wider American audience, many of whom were hearing about it for the first time.”

Ms. Goldin, one of the first women to work at “60 Minutes,” and Mr. Wallace would eventually produce more than 50 segments together, including “Patient Dumping,” an investigation into for-profit hospitals that were sending uninsured patients to public or charity hospitals; “The 36 Hours,” which examined the long shifts worked by hospital interns and residents; and “The Last Mafioso,” an interview with Jimmy Fratianno, for which Ms. Goldin won the second of her four Emmy Awards.

Despite the stellar work they produced, her relationship with Mr. Wallace was not always rosy.

“It was the marriage from hell,” Gail Eisen, who worked as a producer at “60 Minutes” beginning in the mid-1970s, said in a telephone interview on Friday. She remembered Ms. Goldin and Mr. Wallace engaging in shouting matches and slamming doors.

“Mike Wallace was really difficult,” Ms. Eisen said. “But Marion was tough, and she could give it right back, and they had a lot of respect for one another.”

By Ms. Goldin’s own account, Mike Wallace was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: On one hand he could be egocentric, foulmouthed and bullying; but on the other he could be kind, thoughtful and generous in giving credit to his producers.

Ms. Goldin, right, in 1980 with Mike Wallace, seated, and Leonard Bernstein, the conductor and composer.

Credit
via Gail Freedman

Ms. Goldin left “60 Minutes” in 1982 to be a senior producer for the ABC News program “20/20,” but she was lured back to CBS by Mr. Wallace two years later. She remained at “60 Minutes” until 1988.

She was briefly a senior producer for the NBC newsmagazine “Expose,” and also produced “Other People’s Money,” a 1990 PBS “Frontline” documentary about the savings-and-loan scandal. In a review of the program, The New York Times called it an “admirably lucid account.”

Marion Louise Freedman was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 5, 1940, to Milton Freedman, a merchandise manager for the Arnold Constable & Company department store chain, and the former Alice Sheifer, a teacher. She grew up in Woodmere, on Long Island, and attended Lawrence High School.

In 1962, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in government from Barnard College. She earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard in 1963.

Before her successful run with Mr. Wallace, Ms. Goldin was an assistant to another esteemed CBS reporter, Eric Sevareid.

In one of her more memorable moments, she was working for Mr. Sevareid on the day in November 1963 that President John F. Kennedy was shot. She recalled that day in a letter to the editor of The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs in 2013.

After a Western Union employee delivered the news of the shooting, she recalled: “Sevareid jumped up from his typewriter and said, ‘Let’s go’ — to the broadcast studios of the Cronkite show several blocks away. So I was standing just feet from Walter Cronkite when he took off his glasses, unsuccessfully stifled a tear and, with a voice filled with emotion, announced that President Kennedy had died in Dallas at 1:38 p.m.”

In 1967, she married Norman Goldin, a lawyer. He died in 1992. Her brother is her only immediate survivor.

During her last years, Ms. Goldin had a home in Washington, as well as the one in Palm Springs, where she supported the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

In Washington, she could often be found at political speeches, government panels and press club events, the journalist Marvin Kalb, who knew her for more than 50 years, said in an interview.

“She wasn’t any longer the practicing journalist,” Mr. Kalb said, “but she was for all her life a committed public policy analyst — to the very end.”

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