’60 Minutes’ Producer Katherine Textor Dies Suddenly at 45

By Tiffany Meier

Katherine “Katy” Textor, the committed producer known for her collaboration with broadcast journalist Morley Safer during his last years on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” has died of cancer. She was 45.

Textor battled bravely against cancer over the last two and a half years, and passed away at the New York Presbyterian Hospital on Friday, June 14, according to CBS News.

“Katy fought a courageous battle over the last two and a half years but her tenacity didn’t surprise those of us who knew her at 60 Minutes,” executive editor of “60 Minutes” Tanya Simon, told CBS News. “We saw it in her work and in her friendships—she was whip-smart with a megawatt smile and a fierce sense of loyalty, warmth, and compassion.”

“Katy Textor was a scrupulous journalist and a wonderful storyteller. Her energy and personality will be impossible to replace at 60 Minutes,” executive producer for “60 Minutes” Bill Owens, told CBS News.

Despite her battling cancer, Textor still worked throughout her illness, producing stories that included the first televised interview with the Theranos blood-testing machine fraud whistleblower as well as a story covering the Syrian refugee crisis, according to CBS News.

She is remembered for her dedication to Safer and for helping to keep him on air until a few weeks before his death. “Over a 12-year period with Safer, she produced profiles, features, and investigations, including the first interview with Ruth Madoff in 2011, which was watched by nearly 19 million,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Following her death, “60 Minutes” posted a tribute to her on Twitter.

“Katy Textor, longtime producer to Morley Safer, has passed away at age 45 from cancer. 60 Minutes grieves the loss of our treasured colleague,” the post reads.

“60 Minutes” is the most successful American television broadcast in history, according to its official website. It first aired on CBS on Sept. 24, 1968, and had an average of 11.4 million viewers last season. “60 Minutes” has also “won 146 Emmy Awards—more than any other primetime broadcast, including a special Lifetime Achievement Emmy,” according to the site.

After working for ABC News as a White House producer and political reporter during the Bush-Gore 2000 presidential race, she joined CBS News in 2003, according to her LinkedIn. In 2004, she began working with Safer on “60 Minutes.”

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer wrote on Twitter following news of Textor’s death:

“I’m sad to hear about the passing of Katy Textor. She was a producer for ABC News when I was at the White House. She was kind, pleasant and polite, and still a dogged journalist dedicated to getting the story. A real pro and a warm, delightful person. May she Rest In Peace.”

Born in Seattle, Washington, on May 17, 1974, Textor attended Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, where she later served on the school’s board of trustees, according to The Hollywood Reporter. At the University of Pennsylvania, Textor was squash team captain and graduated with a bachelors degree from the Annenberg School of Communication in 1996.

Textor is survived by her parents, Wendy and George Textor, her brothers, Clinton and Andrew, and their families. She leaves behind her husband Colin Farmer and their children, Riley and Will, as well as the rest of the “60 Minutes” staff.