PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Wallace O. Westfeldt, whose half-century journalism career started in print and led to network and public broadcasting, died Sunday at the age of 91.
Westfeldt's death in Plattsburgh, New York, was confirmed by his family.
His first newspaper job was as a reporter at the Nashville Tennessean during a time it was at the forefront covering desegregation. He worked alongside David Halberstam, Tom Wicker and John Seigenthaler and was assigned to cover the landmark U.S. Supreme Court school segregation case, Brown v. Board of Education.
Westfeldt left in 1960 to work on the documentary series "NBC White Paper" and then the news program "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" in 1963. He became the program's executive producer and oversaw NBC's coverage of the Vietnam War, producing the first live, one-hour satellite reports from overseas.
In 1971, Westfeldt launched the NBC Nightly News with John Chancellor and later was executive producer of "NBC Reports."
He left NBC in 1976 for a job as executive producer of the PBS weekly series "USA: People & Politics" and then to ABC News to work on the investigative unit ABC Special Reports.
Returning to NBC in 1979, he worked on the program "Prime Time Sunday" and retired from the network in 1982.
Westfeldt began a long association in 1987 with interviewer David Frost, who asked him to produce a 13-part series on the 1988 presidential candidates called "The Next President." He also worked on "Talking with David Frost" and "One on One with David Frost."
His awards included four Emmys, a Peabody and an American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award. Westfeldt was co-author of three books. "With All Deliberate Speed" chronicled the South after Brown v. Board of Education and "The First Hundred Days" was a collection of reports on the start of the Kennedy administration. Tom Wicker was his co-author for "Indictment: The News Media and the Criminal Justice System."
A native of New Orleans, Westfeldt served with the Marines during World War II and the Korean War. He was a 1947 graduate of the University of the South.