CBC foreign correspondent Joe Schlesinger dead at 90, broadcaster says


TORONTO — Longtime CBC foreign correspondent Joe Schlesinger, who spent decades covering war zones and global events that shaped history, has died.

The public broadcaster says Schlesinger died after a lengthy illness. He was 90 years old.

Schlesinger was born in Vienna in 1928 and raised in former Czechoslovakia. He and his younger brother fled to England in 1939, after Hitler occupied the country. When he returned home in 1945, Schlesinger discovered that his parents had been killed in the Holocaust.

He began his journalism career in 1948, with The Associated Press in Prague. When the Communists began arresting journalists in Czechoslovakia two years later, he moved to Canada, attending the University of British Columbia and working at the student newspaper.

The award-winning journalist joined the CBC in 1966, becoming executive producer of “The National,” but was drawn back to reporting as a correspondent in Hong Kong, Paris, Washington and Berlin.

Schlesinger’s assignments included covering the Vietnam War, guerrilla wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador, the Iranian Revolution, and the first Persian Gulf War.

The Order of Canada member retired in 1994 but continued to work for the public broadcaster as a correspondent and online columnist until 2015.

Schlesinger, who received a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation in 2009, reflected on his long career as a globe-trotting journalist in a 2009 interview with The Canadian Press.

“I have a career of wandering around the world, watching the universe unfold and actually getting paid for it. It’s like a little boy’s dream.”


The Canadian Press