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Marty Plissner died on Thursday at age 87 of lung cancer. Plissner was responsible for political reporting and exit polls for CBS News.
Plissner was born in Brooklyn in 1926. Plissner attended Yale. He joined CBS News in 1964. His coverage of the presidential race began in 1964. He covered the next eight elections.
He wrote about the sixties in his book, The Control Room: How Television Calls the Shots in Presidential Elections. According to the Associated Press, Plissner said in his book, "That year, the network news divisions for their own purposes converted this once marginal political event, involving barely 1 percent of the country's voters, into a unique showcase and proving ground for aspiring presidents.... In that era, it never occurred to us that there was anything shameful about aggressive coverage of the horse race."
He retired in 1997 as Senior Political Director at CBS. He was known for having extraordinary skills in analysis. His coinage of the phrase “too close to call” was noted, according to Politico.
Plissner, who lived in Washington, is survived by his wife, Susan Morrison, two daughters, and a son from his first marriage.