'Face The Nation' Host Bob Schieffer To Retire This Summer

04/08/2015 09:37 pm ET | Updated Apr 08, 2015
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Bob Schieffer, the legendary host of CBS News' political commentary show "Face The Nation" will retire this summer, ending 46 years at the network and 24 years of hosting the program.

"This summer, I am going to retire," Schieffer announced to the crowd during a symposium at his alma mater Texas Christian University on Wednesday night.

"It's been a great adventure. You know, I'm one of the luckiest people in the world because as a little boy, as a young reporter, I always wanted to be a journalist, and I got to do that. And not many people get to do that, and I couldn't have asked for a better life or something that was more fun and more fulfilling," Schieffer said.

CBS News had not announced a replacement for when the 78-year-old leaves, but unnamed sources close to the network told POLITICO's Dylan Byers that they are considering CBS News' Major Garrett, Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson. CBS News had not responded to a request for comment.

Schieffer has talked about retiring in the past, but even a battle with bladder cancer couldn't keep him from the program for good.

But on Wednesday night, Schieffer said that the time was right to end more than 50 years of working in journalism.

CBS New President David Rhodes released a statement on Schieffer's retirement:

Bob Schieffer will retire this summer. Our Chief Washington Correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation made the announcement here in Fort Worth tonight at TCU's Schieffer College of Communication.

I know what you're thinking: Bob's thought about retiring before, is he really retiring now? And of course with his long connection to CBS News we'd be happy to learn that he's not leaving now-- or that he can be seen by our viewers in the future.

But speaking at the annual Schieffer Symposium here with colleagues Gayle King, Holly Williams, and a large audience of students and friends from his home community, Bob said he wanted to end it where it began. He graduated from TCU and before long went to work at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Bob's been with CBS since 1969... Chief Washington Correspondent since 1982... and host of Face the Nation since 1991. That broadcast is in its 60th year and has never been better or more powerful, ranking consistently number one this season.

He's been an inspiration and a mentor to so many colleagues-- and frankly, to me. You could see at TCU tonight how that inspiration extends to a wider community of reporters and editors and academics... Not to mention the example he sets as a father and husband with his wife Pat and his whole family here and elsewhere.

It's not over yet. Bob will be on the air this Sunday from the Washington bureau. And for a number of Sundays to come. We'll have more to report soon about the plans for this important broadcast and for the Washington bureau as a whole. An important 2016 campaign season is beginning. But this is Bob's night and I hope we can all celebrate with him the remarkable achievement which is his career here at CBS.

Born in Austin, Texas, Schieffer began his career in journalism 58 years ago while a student at TCU. He joined CBS News in 1969, and began hosting "Face The Nation" in 1991. The program was the highest rated Sunday talk show in 2014 for the third consecutive year, CBS said. He has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon, and has moderated three presidential debates. Over his career he has won eight Emmys, among many other awards.

Schieffer and his wife live in Washington, D.C. They have two daughters and three granddaughters.

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