HONOLULU — A veteran voice of Washington, D.C., has died. While he was no Congressional leader, he was certainly a figure on Capitol Hill.
Bob Fuss, who became CBS Radio News‘ Capitol Hill Correspondent in September 1998 following stints at Mutual, NBC and United Press International (UPI) and retired some four years ago, passed away Sunday (5/27) at the age of 64.
In a note distributed via e-mail from former longtime colleague Peter Maer, who covered the White House for CBS Radio News, Maer noted that Fuss died “after bravely confronting a rare form of Leukemia.” He was initially diagnosed in February 2016.
Following that first diagnosis, Maer says, “Bob did everything in his power to continue his lifelong pursuits of travel and enjoying fine food. In between medical treatments he traveled to Hawaii, California, Jamaica and New York. Always in search of adventure, he snorkeled and soaked up the sun. For the past four years, we dined together at least once a week, often meeting with former news colleagues.”
Fuss’ achievements include being the last CBS News correspondent to take a hand-off from legendary anchor Walter Cronkite, on Feb. 12, 1999. His first story for CBS News? The impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
Bob broke into radio reporting in 1974 as a freelancer covering the Patty Hearst saga for UPI Radio. As an L.A. Bureau Chief for UPI from 1977-1991, Fuss hit the road covering national political conventions for the news service.
Fuss was raised in Los Angeles and was born in Bayside, Queens, New York.
In retirement, he lived in Falls Church, Va.
Following his retirement from CBS News in 2014, he wrote an autobiography, “Kidnapped by Nuns And Other Stories of a Life on the Radio.” In that work he explained that he was born “with a whole range of birth defects similar to spina bifida.”
Maer recalls, “His parents were told he was unlikely to live past childhood. He more than defied the dire medical prediction. He described himself as ‘a busy and active kid’ who ‘never let anything slow me down.’ That attitude held true throughout his life. The title stemmed from Bob’s experience covering the 1979 trip of Pope John Paul II to Mexico.
Fuss entered Stanford University at the age of 16 and graduated three years later. He originally aspired to be an attorney, even a Supreme Court Justice. But, Maer continues, “the ‘radio bug’ bit at the Stanford campus radio station where his classmate Pete Williams introduced him to broadcasting.”
Williams is now the NBC News Justice Correspondent.
Fuss is survived by his mother Carolyn Fuss of Palm Desert, Calif.; his sister Dr. Lorri Hilbert (John Hilbert) of San Diego; loving nieces and nephews Jeffrey Hilbert, Jenna Anderson (Duncan Anderson), Ilan Fuss (Mikayla Weissman), Ari Breakstone and Rina Breakstone; many devoted cousins; and legions of friends.
The family plans a celebration of life at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be sent to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at http://www.lls.org/national-capital-area.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:
Fuss/Hilbert Family, 3009 Cedar Hill Drive, Falls Church VA 22042.