Ed Fouhy, an Emmy Award-winning journalist who served as a top news executive at three broadcast networks, died May 13 of complications of cancer. He was 80 and lived in Chatham, Massachusetts, where he retired in 2004 after a 35-year career in Washington.
Fouhy was born in Boston on November 30, 1934 and grew up in neighboring Milton. He began his journalism career as a sports stringer for the Boston Globe while a student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he graduated in 1956. He launched his broadcast career as news director for WBZ Boston while attending graduate school at Boston University’s College of Communications.
Fouhy joined the CBS Morning News as a producer in 1966 and went on to serve in several top positions at the network, including West Coast bureau chief, Saigon bureau chief, and as Washington producer for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite from 1969-74. There he covered the totemic news events of the Richard Nixon presidency, including Nixon’s historic visit to China, Watergate, and Nixon’s resignation. Fouhy left CBS in 1982 after serving as a top news executive at the network’s headquarters in New York.
Fouhy worked for NBC News as a producer and executive from 1974-1977 and returned in 1985 to launch a news magazine show. Fouhy also served as Washington bureau chief for ABC News from 1982-1985.
After leaving network news, Fouhy served as executive producer for the Commission on Presidential Debates. He produced the nationally televised debates between presidential candidates Michael Dukakis and George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot in 1992.
Toward the end of his news career Fouhy focused on journalism innovation, developing projects through the Pew Charitable Trusts, including the Pew Center for Civic Journalism and Stateline.
Fouhy won numerous awards throughout his career, including five Emmys and an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, UMass. He was a revered mentor and boss to many younger journalists.
Fouhy served as chairman of the board of IREX, an international nonprofit organization, until stepping down earlier this year. He was an active volunteer in retirement, serving on Chatham’s Zoning Board of Appeals where he was chairman for two terms, and as an adviser to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign in 2012.
Fouhy served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1956-59 and remained to the end a proud Marine. He was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and loved to garden, sail, ski, and travel the globe with his wife Barbara, his beloved partner of 54 years.
In addition to his wife, Fouhy is survived by his daughter Beth Fouhy, her husband Joe Marty, and their son Jonathan Marty, all of Pelham, New York; son Mark Fouhy of Rutland, Vermont; a sister, Nan Fouhy, of Milton, Massachusetts; many cousins; and too many friends to count.