What was Bill Plante’s cause of death? Tributes pour in as veteran White House correspondent dies aged 84

Bill Plante recently died at the age of 84 (Image via Stephen Boitano/Getty Images)
Bill Plante died at the age of 84 (Image via Stephen Boitano/Getty Images)

Well-known journalist and CBS News correspondent Bill Plante passed away on September 28 at the age of 84 and news of his death was confirmed by his family.

In a tribute to Plante, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl said:

“He was brilliant, as a reporter and as a human being. There wasn’t anything Bill didn’t excel at in our profession: he was a gifted writer, a first-class deadline maker and a breaker of major stories. He’ll be remembered for his reports from the White House lawn, his booming voice that presidents always answered and his kind heart.”
We lost a truly great reporter with the passing of longtime CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante. He was a pro, unflappable, one of the truly good guys in the business. I was honored to call him a friend. My condolences to his wife Robin, family & friends. RIP Bill.
R.I.P. Bill Plante. Legendary and extraordinary CBS News White House Correspondent. My friend. Colleague. Writing partner on the CBS Sunday Night News. Wonderful sense of humor. Beautiful singing voice. The ultimate gentleman. You will be missed, Bill.

How did Bill Plante die?

According to his family, Bill Plante died from a respiratory failure, shocking the journalist community. No information available on whether Plante was hospitalized or at home at the time of his death.

Detailed information is expected to be disclosed in the coming days.

Bill Plante was famous as CBS' White House correspondent

Bill Plante was a popular journalist and correspondent for CBS News (Image via CBS/Getty Images)
Bill Plante was a popular journalist and correspondent for CBS News (Image via CBS/Getty Images)

Bill Plante was born on January 14, 1938, to parents Regis and Jane. While Regis was a field engineer for a heating company, Jane was a school administrator.

The journalist enrolled at Loyola Academy and graduated in 1955 and in 1956, he joined a music radio station in Evanston, Illinois, soon after. Bill joined Loyola University Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1959.

He quit Chicago-Kent College of Law when he got a job as an assistant news director on WISN-TV. He worked for four years at the station and received a journalism fellowship from CBS to study political science at Columbia University.

Plante joined CBS News as a reporter and assignment editor in June 1964 and went to South Vietnam to report on the Vietnam War. He also covered the fall of Phnom Penh and Saigon, which earned his team the Best Radio Spot News Reporting from Abroad Award from the Overseas Press Club.


He went to Selma, Alabama in March 1965 and returned to report on the Selma to Montgomery marches along with interviewing Martin Luther King Jr. Plante was promoted as a correspondent and joined the network’s Chicago bureau, working for 10 years.

He reported on various events, including the protests at Ohio University, the United Auto Workers strike, and more. He was the Senior White House Correspondent for CBS News for as many 35 years - during the administrations of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Bill also reported for CBS This Morning along with CBS Evening News and was the anchor of CBS Sunday Night News from 1998 to 1995.

Plante, who worked with CBS News for over 50 years, announced his retirement in November 2016.

Netizens pay tribute on Twitter

Bill Plante gained recognition for reporting on some of the most famous and controversial events. Twitter was flooded with tributes when people heard about his demise.

Bill Plante who served CBS News for more than 50 years has passed away at 84. Bill was a pro, a class act and a marvelous colleague. I first met him when I was a local reporter and was delighted to call him a friend in the WH briefing room. Rest well sir.
I'm so saddened to hear the news that we lost BIll Plante of CBS News. A fearless reporter, and kind and charitable soul. A great loss. Sending love and deepest condolences to his friends, colleagues, and the family he loved so dearly. May his memory be a blessing.
So sad to learn of the passing of my long-time colleague Bill Plante. It was my privilege to work side-by-side with him in the CBS News booth in the White House for some 25 years. He was one of the best in the business.
Bill Plante, a fixture in the White House press room for years - was always generous with his time, always dispensing advice and the most wonderful stories. Legendary CBS Newsman Bill Plante was 84. RIP
Brings back great memories of some 25 years working with Bill Plante in the CBS News booth in the White House. A great reporter, terrific colleague and a class act. None finer. Thanks to @KellyO for the photo.
Sad to hear of the death of Bill Plante, the longtime CBS White House correspondent. A congenial fellow traveler on many a foreign trip, the institutional memory of the press corps -- and a wine snob of the best sort.
Sad to hear that my colleague from @CBSEveningNews Bill Plante passed away. Bill spent 50 years at CBS. What an incredible run….
RIP Bill Plante #CBSNews and a dedicated TV News journalist. #CBS
With deep sadness I just received news of the passing of Bill Plante, veteran CBS News White House Correspondent. Bill was a master of Television news, and was also a true gentleman. He was generous. When I covered the Bill Clinton presidency he was so helpful. So long my friend!
rip longtime cbs news reporter Bill Plante at the age of 84

His survivors include his second wife Robin Smith, brothers Richard, Jim, and John, sons Michael, Dan, Christopher, Brian, and David, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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