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CBS News, KCBS Radio legend Don Mozley dies

Don Mozley

Longtime KCBS Radio and CBS News reporter Don Mozley died Thursday of a heart attack at the age of 90. He passed away at London’s Heathrow Airport on the way home from a solo trip to Europe.

Mozley enjoyed a broadcasting career spanning more than six decades. As KCBS reported on Friday, Mosley was the first reporter to break the news of Japan’s unconditional surrender in 1945. He covered the atomic bomb tests at Bikini in the Marshall Islands, and traveled on the presidential campaigns of Sen. Robert A. Taft, Richard M. Nixon and General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

He also was KCBS Radio’s news director for 15 years and served as an anchor and reporter. In recent years, he covered the auto industry and did test drives of new cars for his long running “California Driver” features.

He knew how to be funny, even under the stress of something like the 1981 San Francisco Financial District gas leak evacuation, recounting his descent from KCBS studios, which were then on the 32nd floor of Embarcadero Center.

“As we progressed, the Embarcadero Center loudspeakers offered conflicting advice,” Mozley reported. “First they shouted ‘use the stairway.’ Well, we were already on the stairway. But as the steps became more and more jammed with newcomers at every floor, the loudspeaker yelled ‘use the elevators.’ Fat chance, all the doors in the corridor were locked.”

Of course, there was more to Mozley’s story. He was within an arm’s reach of 75-year-old U.S. Sen. S.I. Hayakawa during the incident.

“I’m sitting right here and thinking of how I almost asked an elderly U.S. senator to carry me the rest of the way,” Mozley said in his report. “This is Don Mozley, looking across the street at my office.” (Photo taken from the Broadcast Legends website.)

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