August 22, 1935 |
Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S.
Dean reported on the Invasion of Grenada, the Falklands War and Cuba from the early days of the Castro regime up to the present. He reported on Iran during the hostage crisis, from Somalia during the U.S. intervention, the turmoil in Israel and the Palestinian Territory and the military action in Kosovo involving U. S. Marines. He covered Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the NATO air attacks in Belgrade, the terror bomb blast on the USS Cole bombing in Yemen, the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and the U.S. retaliation in Sudan, as well as the first terrorist attacks on World Trade Center in 1993.
Dean is the author of two books and writer and director of American Medevac, a documentary which reconnects medevac crew members with some of the service members they had rescued during the Vietnam War.
Dean was born on August 22, 1935 in Fall River, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Dubitsky and Celia (Schwartz) Dubitsky. He attended B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River. In 1983, the television studio and publications center at the high school was named the Morton Dean Television Studio in his honor and in 2011, Dean was presented the key to the city of Fall River by former mayor Willian Flanagan.
In 1957, he earned a bachelor's degree in English from Emerson College in Boston. At Emerson, he was captain of the basketball team and president of his fraternity, Alpha Pi Theta. In 1977, he received a Doctor of law, honorary degree from his alma mater.
Dean began his career in 1957 as a reporter and later news director at Westchester County, New York radio station WVIP which became the flagship station for the Herald Tribune Radio Network, a group of suburban AM and FM stations in New York State. In 1960, Dean was program director of WVOX New Rochelle. From 1961 to 1964, he was a reporter for the radio station WBZ in Boston. In 1962, he won a UPI Broadcasters Association of Massachusetts Award.
In 1971, during a six-month assignment in Vietnam for CBS Evening News, Dean covered a combat medevac mission under fire. With cameraman Greg Cooke, they filmed a seven-minute segment that aired four days later on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.
A feature article about the medevac rescues during the Vietnam War and his experience as a news correspondent flying on medevac missions, was published in Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine. In 2015, Dean and Cooke inspired by the memory of those events in 1971 produced and directed a documentary, American Medevac, which reunites the medevac crew members with some of the service members they had rescued in 1971.
CBS News Weekend Anchor
In late 1975, Dean was named an anchor of the CBS Sunday Night News, and later moved to the CBS Sunday Evening News until 1984. He also anchored weekday afternoon and evening editions of the 90-second Newsbreak updates.
At CBS, Dean reported on the Iran hostage crisis in 1980, the Space Shuttle ''Columbia'' missions, the Salvadoran Civil War in 1982, the U.S. Invasion of Grenada in 1983 and the Falklands War in 1982.
In 1992, from Mogadishu, Somalia during the Somali Civil War and Operation Provide Relief, Dean reported on the first American casualties and former U. S. President George H. W. Bush’s visit to the area.
In 1993, Dean was lead reporter on the first World Trade Center bombing by terrorists. Dean was the first and only newsperson to see and report from inside the garage where the truck bomb detonated and later covered the investigation into the attack.
Good Morning America
In 1993, Dean was news anchor on ABC’s "Good Morning America” and presented the newscasts on the morning show until 1996.
He traveled to Nairobi to cover the 1998 United States embassy bombings and went to Sudan to cover, Operation Infinite Reach in August 1998 which sent cruise missile strikes on al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan in retaliation for the American embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
He reported and hosted a monthly 60-minute cable network science show, and occasionally appeared on National Public Radio "Morning Edition” commenting on politics and terrorism.
Dean is a freelance writer and occasionally writes on subjects of personal interest, including stories about the Boston Red Sox and his latest journey to Cuba, 50 years after his 1959 interview with Fidel Castro.
He is a member of the Vietnam War Commemoration Commission created by Presidential proclamation whose goal is to embrace those who served during the Vietnam era and also does pro bono work for Autism Speaks, the world largest autism awareness organization.
He divides his time between homes in Connecticut and Massachusetts and is the father of two daughters, a son and has three grandchildren.
In 1962, he won a UPI Broadcasters Association of Massachusetts Award for aiding in the capture of a murder suspect.
In 1976, Dean was part of the CBS News team that the Overseas Press Club, New York awarded the Radio Interpretation Award for Journalistic Achievement for "America in Vietnam".
In 1981 at CBS News Sunday Morning, he received an Outstanding Documentary Program Emmy for "Louis is 13".
Dean was nominated for a national Emmy Award for his reporting the gun battle in Kosovo involving U. S. Marines who were pinned down by snipers.
Morton Dean is the only recipient of an honorary degree from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.
Dean's clowning career began on a lark after he finished a story on the women of the circus for CBS Sunday Morning. While thanking the public relations people for their help, one said, "Anything we can do for you, just let us know." He nodded and left. He took the elevator down, then he took it right back up again and said, "I'd like to try to be a clown.
Dean performs occasionally as a Ringling clown. "It's my Walter Mitty side," he told an interviewer.
"I try to get as much background and history as I can, says Dean. "I try to find my own sources. I try to make an extra phone call. One way or another I try to find a nugget of information that might give me an edge."
"I’ve made a career out of asking dumb questions. I mean, that’s our job—not to prove how smart we are but to elicit answers, and I think you sometimes have to ask what appears to be a dumb question. I am not out there to impress the audience that I have brilliant questions all the time. I am old-fashioned enough to believe that the idea is to get some news at the other end of the question." 
"I think that is the most difficult part of this business—covering a breaking story live…You are often out there ‘naked’ and you have to resist the pressure to give information that you’re not certain of and to give your own personal thoughts as opposed to what’s really going on." 
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- Welch, Brian (June 12, 2006). "Space Shuttles". HistoryNet. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- Dean, Morton (December 2015). "What Ever Happened to the Men of Hawk Hill?". Air & Space Magazine. Smithsonian. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
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- "Notable Alumni Facts & Figures". Emerson College. Emerson College. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
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- "Persian Gulf War". ABC News. Vanderbilt Television News Archive. February 16, 1991. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- "Bill Clinton: Presidential Primary Campaign". www.aparchive.com. The Associated Press. 1992. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
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- "East Africa - Embassy Bombings". ABC Evening News. Vanderbilt Television News Archive. August 16, 1988.
- "Yugoslavia - Kosovo - NATO Peacekeeping". ABC Evening News. Vanderbilt Television News Archive. June 21, 1999.
- "USS Cole Bomb Said Built in Nearby House". ABC News. ABC News. October 19, 2000. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
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- Möllerström, Sten; Dean, Morton. Hello World!. Ridgeway Editions. ISBN 0895890011.
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