William Moran was bitten by the news bug early.

As a student in the 1950s, Mr. Moran penned a newsletter which reported the goings-on at South Portland High School.

The newsletter was a big hit with students, known for its gossipy details and humorous tone.

Mr. Moran, who died Feb. 28 at age 76, went on to become a journalist both in print and television. “News was in his blood,” said Lisa Moran, one of his daughters.

After serving in the Navy, Mr. Moran went to Boston University, where he majored in journalism. He went to work as a reporter for the Associated Press in New England, New York and Washington, then worked as a stringer for The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time magazine.

Mr. Moran joined CBS News and spent the next 25 years writing and producing, first working with Walter Cronkite and then moving to CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt. He worked with Kuralt for 16 years as senior producer, traveling around the world and picking up a number of journalism awards.

He developed a reputation for being able to rescue footage that most people deemed beyond saving. He is still remembered for such skills at CBS News more than a decade after his retirement.

“He was always very calm and could always figure a way out,” his daughter said.

His family described Mr. Moran as unassuming about the places he went and the people he met. But he loved to tell a good story and was always happy to regale people with anecdotes about Cronkite and Kuralt.

“He was a really funny person who remembered jokes,” his daughter said.

He was also fascinated by history. On the long car trips from their home in Connecticut back to Maine, he would always stop off at cemeteries to visit the graves of historical figures.

His family said it was during the treks back to Maine, driving through Lowell and Lawrence, where the textile industry was founded, that gave him the idea for his book, “The Belles of New England,” which focused on the early female textile workers.

At the time of his death, Mr. Moran was working on a book about World War II hero Rodger Young.

“He had done a lot of research and had written a couple of drafts,” said another daughter, Beth Moran.

Mr. Moran held on to his South Portland roots and as soon as he had accumulated enough money, he bought a summer house at Higgins Beach in Scarborough where his family and high school friends would drop by. “It was his favorite place,” Lisa Moran said.

As for his high school newsletter, no records or traces remain, his family said. They speculated that the reason may be that the newsletters were just too gossipy. “They probably had to shred them,” Lisa Moran said.

 

Staff Writer Beth Quimby may be reached at 791-6363 or at:

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