Award-winning CBS News veteran Maria Mercader died of COVID-19 during a ny hospital on Sunday, the network announced.
She was 54.
The Manhattan native, who covered breaking news for CBS since joining the network in 1987, had been on medical leave for an unrelated matter when she was infected, the network said while confirming her death Sunday.
Dan Rather called the loss a “hard hit to the guts .”
“A paragon of grit and beauty , she embodied the simplest of the @CBSNews mission. many Americans learned of the planet through her efforts. Now our world is a smaller amount together with her loss,” he tweeted.
CBS News president Susan Zirinsky called Mercader — who had battled cancer for quite 20 years — a “warrior” and a “gift we cherished.”
“Even quite her talents as a journalist, we’ll miss her indomitable spirit,” Zirinsky said. “Maria was a part of all of our lives.”
The network’s senior vice chairman of talent, Laurie Orlando, also called her “a friend to all or any .”
“It’s nearly impossible to be someone EVERYONE loves, but Maria was,” Orlando insisted. “She always had a warm hug, a word of recommendation or support and an enormous smile for everybody in her life. She was a bright light and can be sorely missed.”
Mercader, who lived in Manhattan, had attended the all-girls Dominican Academy in Manhattan before graduating from the school of latest Rochelle in 1987. At CBS, she helped produce many of her era’s biggest news stories, including the death of Diana and therefore the 9/11 terror attacks, CBS said.
She won a Business Emmy in 2004 for her work on a “CBS Sunday Morning” report on computer spam.
“Maria was one among the bravest, funniest, and most supportive colleagues most folks have ever known,” said Al Ortiz, the network’s vice-president of standards and practices .
Mercader is survived by her father and brother — both of whom are named Manuel, CBS said.