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The NASA insignia. A blue circle with the word NASA in white across the blue circle. There is also a red vector across the blue circle.

Bruce Hall

Television Correspondent, CBS and NBC News

Growing up in rural Arkansas, Bruce Hall was fascinated by the U.S. space program. Armed with degrees in journalism and speech from the University of Missouri, he was hired by CBS News in 1971 and “put my dreams of space coverage on hold,” Hall recalled. But in 1975, legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite invited Hall to join the network’s team at the Kennedy Space Center to cover the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and the launch of astronauts Deke Slayton, Tom Stafford and Vance Brand.

Through the rest of the decade and into the early 1980s, Hall closely followed and reported on NASA’s transition to the space shuttle program and was part of the CBS News team that covered the maiden flight of shuttle Columbia in April 1981.

“I will never forget the moments after the launch the way the sounds just completely enveloped you and you believed you felt the ground shaking,” Hall said. “At this time many of us thought this would be the beginning of interstate travel to far off planets.”

Hall went on to cover most of the early shuttle missions at Kennedy and at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, building a reputation for meticulous planning and attention to detail. His notes for every likely eventuality covered most of the expansive anchor desk in the CBS News studio, so he could quickly refresh his memory if something unusual occurred.

“The worst time for me was the 1986 Challenger explosion, when I was the first network television reporter on the air to describe the tragic event,” he recalled. “I remained on the air for hours as we tried to determine what happened to Challenger. I remained at Kennedy Space Center for nearly six months, and provided CBS News coverage as the NASA investigation and the Rogers Commission that eventually discovered the cause.”

In 1992, after filing more than 1,000 stories that ran on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather, Hall left CBS News and moved to the NBC News Channel, continuing space coverage for the network’s affiliates. He retired from the news business in 2007

“I consider my association and experiences with the U.S. space program as a highlight of my news career,” said Hall, who after a lengthy illness, died on May 2, 2017, at age 76.