Edward Lydston Bliss Jr., 90, a former writer and editor at CBS News who was a founder of American University's broadcast journalism program, died of respiratory failure Nov. 25 at Inova Alexandria Hospital. He lived at Goodwin House East in Alexandria.
Mr. Bliss's career at CBS from 1943 to 1968 included assignments with anchors Lowell Thomas, Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite and producer Fred Friendly. He was news editor during the 1963 broadcast in which Cronkite announced the death of President John F. Kennedy.
Cronkite later said that Mr. Bliss was "the guardian who manned the gate to prevent my not-infrequent errors of facts and/or language from embarrassing me and CBS on the air."
Mr. Bliss joined AU's faculty in 1968 and taught the communications school's first broadcast journalism course. He retired as a professor in 1977 to do consulting work.
Over the years, he wrote several well-received books, including "Writing News for Broadcast" with John M. Patterson and "Now the News: The Story of Broadcast Journalism."
Mr. Bliss, born in China to a Protestant medical missionary, also wrote a book about his father, "Beyond the Stone Arches." He studied medicine at Yale University but decided on journalism after working at the school newspaper.
After he graduated in 1935, he was a newspaper reporter and editor in Ohio. CBS Radio News hired him in 1943.
He was a writer-producer for two of Murrow's radio programs in the 1950s and associate producer under Friendly of the television show "CBS Reports" from 1961 to 1962. He spent five years as news editor of the "CBS News With Walter Cronkite" before settling in Washington in 1968.
Beginning in 1984, he spent a decade successfully lobbying the U.S. Postal Service about honoring Murrow by putting his likeness on a postage stamp.
He was a recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists distinguished teaching award and the Radio-Television News Directors Association's Paul White Award for lifetime contribution to electronic journalism.
His book about the struggle of his wife, Lois Arnette Bliss, with Alzheimer's disease is to be published next year by Fordham University Press. Mrs. Bliss died in 2000, and a daughter, Lois Abshire, died in 1978.
Survivors include a daughter, Anne Mascolino of Washington; a sister; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.