How Old is Lesley Stahl From ’60 Minutes’?
The hosts of 60 Minutes used to be considered true titans, if not journalistic dinosaurs due to their decades-long longevity. While many of the original cast is now departed, they were proof that a stalwart CBS journalist could still stay vibrant and compelling when nearing 80 years old. Add the late Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, and Andy Rooney to that roster.
Now in its 52nd season, 60 Minutes has only one true veteran on the show left. After Steve Kroft retired last season at the ripe age of 74, it left Lesley Stahl as the oldest of the bunch. She’s been with the show since 1991, also making her the longest-running host who worked with much of the original cast.
How old is Stahl now? Based on her age, she’s clearly going to be like her male predecessors in never slowing down.
Lesley Stahl has been with CBS since the early 1970s
Any fans of old school CBS News should know Stahl is directly from that era. She started with CBS News in 1972 as a White House correspondent, something she continued doing for years at the same network.
Those early days enabled her to cut her teeth reporting on the President Nixon Watergate scandal, something that may seem full-circle reporting on the Trump Administration for 60 Minutes 47 years later.
After Nixon’s resignation, Stahl stayed on covering our presidents for CBS through to the George H.W. Bush Administration. Stahl could also be seen often as a fill-in anchor, as well as hosting the morning edition of CBS News starting in 1977. By 1983, she became the new host of Face the Nation, a perpetual news bastion of the Eye Network.
During her first CBS News year in 1972, Stahl was considered one of three “affirmative action” hires at the time. She was one, Connie Chung the other, and Bernard Shaw (later on CNN) the third. This “Class of 1972” was one of the best reporting trios ever assembled. Nothing has to be said about how far-reaching these reporters have contributed to journalism over the years.
Stahl faced numerous challenges in proving herself during her time as a White House correspondent at CBS. Because women were often looked down upon in the man’s world of journalism, little did she know she’d have to do the same thing all over again moving up to 60 Minutes.
Entering the male world of ’60 Minutes’
When Stahl was hired by the crew of 60 Minutes, she was once again breaking barriers: The show had never hired a woman in the role of host. Yet, Stahl had to prove herself alongside the overly demanding Mike Wallace and his fellow peers.
Even when newcomers like Kroft joined the show, he had to prove himself as well as the newbies do. Stahl proved how relentless she is in preparing a story, including going all out to land important interviews.
In an interview with Hollywood Reporter last year, she detailed exactly how much work she’s put in, mostly to continue proving women are equal (if not better) than journalistic men to create a compelling news story.
All these years later, she’s still proving that on 60 Minutes. Many might find it incredible Stahl is now 77 years old and actively working.
Stahl will be 78 on December 16, placing her in the age category where Wallace, Safer, and even producer Don Hewitt were while still in their prime. Let’s not forget Wallace stayed with the show until he was 88.
How much longer will Lesley Stahl stay with the show?
With Kroft now moving on, Stahl is the only one with connective strings to the old and celebrated guard of CBS News. Her health seems excellent, so it’s a good bet she’ll be with 60 Minutes for as long as she’s able. The example she’s set for women is more than a little far-reaching, giving her a chance to nurture other young women journalists likely joining the 60 Minutes fray into the 2020s.