Mario Biasetti, veteran CBS News journalist, dies age 96

Mario Biasetti with Pope John Paul II

 ROME – Mario Biasetti, a veteran television journalist for CBS News and Fox who covered wars, revolutions and papal trips around the world for over 60 years, has died at age 96, his family said.

 Biasetti, the last living member of the Foreign Press Association who had fought in the Second World War, (as a teenage American infantry soldier) only finally retired from Fox News at the end of March this year, saying he wanted to write his memoirs.

 As a cameraman for CBS he was always to be seen in hotspots such as the TWA hijacking in Beirut, which began June 14, 1985.

 In his last years he covered mainly Italy and the Vatican for Fox and was effectively the network’s Rome bureau chief.

 A well-known figure at the bar of the Foreign Press Club in Humility Street and its previous historic premises at the Via della Mercede, Mario remained in great shape despite his years, which he attributed to working in the vineyard at his property in the Umbrian countryside near Todi, as well as his unquenchable curiosity for following the news.

 He liked to confide to his friends that he hoped to live to be 100, one of the few ambitions he failed to achieve in an extraordinary life.