Dallas Townsend

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Dallas S. Townsend, Jr. (January 17, 1919 - June 1, 1995) was an American broadcast journalist who worked for CBS Radio and television for over 40 years. An award jury at Columbia University said of Townsend, "No other newsman of our day has had a broader acquaintance with news nor communicated it with more economy and precision."[1]

Early career[edit]

Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey,[1] Townsend was the son of Dallas Townsend, Sr., an attorney who once was assistant attorney general of the United States.[2] He attended Montclair Kimberley Academy, graduating in the class of 1936.[3] He graduated from Princeton University in 1940 and the Columbia School of Journalism. He worked as a news editor at WQXR in New York City before he went to work at CBS.[4] After working briefly for CBS as an editor in New York City he served in the Army. During World War II[5] he was an Army communications officer.


Townsend was associated with CBS for over 40 years. During his tenure he worked on the CBS Radio Network's morning World News Roundup and the Roundup's evening companion, then known as The World Tonight. In addition to regular newscasts, he covered each presidential convention and campaign from 1948 through 1980 and every American space launch from 1962 to 1980.[6] Townsend covered a variety of other news events including: atomic tests, international peace conferences, and presidential inaugurations.

He anchored the CBS World News Roundup for the better part of 30 years, after CBS sent Winston Burdett to Rome in 1954. Most of that time he anchored 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. broadcasts but abandoned that schedule in last years with CBS because it required him to rise before the sun.

Townsend was Alan Jackson's broadcast partner on CBS Radio on the afternoon that John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas. While Jackson anchored news reports from the wire services and from Texas, Townsend provided news and background information at various points in the initial broadcast.[7]


Townsend died June 1, 1995, of injuries from a fall that he suffered a week earlier. He was 76 years old.[6] He was survived by his wife of 56 years, Lois Bradley Townsend. They lived in Montclair, New Jersey and raised four children, three daughters and a son: Katharine, Nancy, Patricia and Douglas. He retired in 1985 from CBS and moved to Sarasota, Florida. They spent much of their time in Bala, Ontario, Canada.


In 1983, Townsend received an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for "intelligent and incisive reporting" over his career.[8]


  1. ^ a b "TV newsman Townsend dead at 76". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. June 2, 1995. p. C8. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Dallas Townsend Reports Blast". The Robesonian. North Carolina, Lumberton. May 5, 1955. p. 1. Retrieved September 5, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Alumni Awards, Montclair Kimberley Academy. Accessed March 6, 2011.
  4. ^ DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 265.
  5. ^ Roland, James (May 30, 1995). "Former journalist is hospitalized". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 11A. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Deaths: Dallas Townsend". Daily Sitka Sentinel. Alaska, Sitka. Associated Press. June 2, 1995. p. 2. Retrieved September 5, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sHOWWD5a_w
  8. ^ "Filmmaker wins journalism award". Santa Cruz Sentinel. California, Santa Cruz. Associated Press. February 10, 1983. p. 26. Retrieved September 5, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read