When he wasn’t in New York City or traveling the globe during his more than five decades of reporting for CBS News, the small town of Chester, Connecticut, was Morley Safer’s home.
“The way you saw him on television is the way he was locally,” journalist Lary Bloom said, “He was easy to talk to, people liked him a lot, he was here.”
Bloom knew Safer since the longtime "60 Minutes’" correspondent moved to Chester in the 1980s.
“He literally planted roots in the community,” Bloom said, adding Safer enjoyed gardening work.
Safer, 84, passed away Thursday just a week after the remarkable TV reporter retired, ending a 52-year run with CBS News.
“This is what we should shoot for,” Bloom said, “I mean do the work you love as long as you can do it and he didn’t have any regrets in that regard.”
Safer belonged to the synagogue Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester.
“This was more of their sanctuary,” Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg said. “Their place to escape.”
Goldenberg recalled meeting Safer for the first time after she spoke out against the death penalty in a sermon on social justice.
“He praised my courage for taking a stand on the issue,” she said. “It was really a humbling moment.”
Safer will always be remembered for his ground breaking reporting from the front lines of the Vietnam War.
“He saw, he witnessed the burning of a village and that was something, that was really breaking,” Bloom said. “Turned the war, that turned the American public on that.”
Safer did not tweet much, but Sunday night he posted, “It’s been a wonderful run and I want to thank the millions of people who have been loyal to our 60 Minutes broadcast. Thank you!”
The tweet came right before CBS aired an hour long special looking back on Safer’s incredible career.
“We loved having him,” Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister said, “He’ll surely be missed.”