Neil E. Strawser Dies; CBS Reporter, Capitol Hill Spokesman

Neil Edward Strawser worked in Washington for CBS News for 34 years, beginning in 1952.
Neil Edward Strawser worked in Washington for CBS News for 34 years, beginning in 1952. (Cbs Photo Archive)
By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 5, 2006

Neil Edward Strawser, 78, a former CBS News correspondent who became a spokesman for Capitol Hill committees, died Dec. 31 at George Washington University Hospital after a heart attack. He was a resident of the District.

Starting in 1952, Mr. Strawser spent 34 years at CBS in Washington and was mostly a radio correspondent. He also appeared on television, including one assignment to interview future first lady Jacqueline Kennedy on the presidential campaign trail in 1960 and another in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis, when he was among the first newsmen admitted to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

On the radio, Mr. Strawser anchored four straight days of coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and its aftermath in 1963. He anchored weekend "News on the Hour" broadcasts and the Saturday edition of "CBS World News Roundup" for many years.

Mr. Strawser covered U.S. space launches; civil rights stories from Arlington to Oxford, Miss.; and the 1973 "Saturday Night Massacre," in which President Richard M. Nixon ordered the firing of a leading Justice Department official during the Watergate inquiry. In the early 1980s, his beat was the White House.

When CBS announced massive job cuts in 1985, Mr. Strawser took early retirement and became director of public affairs of the Joint Economic Committee. From 1987 until 1994, he was press officer of the House Budget Committee.

Mr. Strawser was born in Rittman, Ohio, and was an electronics technician in the Navy in the late 1940s. He was a 1951 graduate of Oberlin College and received a master's degree in history from George Washington University in 1958.

He was a member of Congressional Country Club, the National Democratic Club and Christ Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill, where he was a vestryman and served on the finance committee. His avocations included golf and bridge.

His marriages to Antoinette Bozievich Strawser and Dee Atwill Strawser ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 14 years, Cornelia Little Motheral Strawser of Washington; five children from his first marriage, Neil Bozievich of Greenbelt, Chris Strawser of Wanchese, N.C., Jay Bozievich of Eugene, Ore., Stuart Bozievich of Forest Hill, Md., and Clara Bozievich of Corvallis, Ore.; a stepson, David Motheral of Fairfax County; a sister; and five grandchildren.

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