Don Hewitt, creator of CBS News’ 60 Minutes program, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday at his home in Bridgehampton, New York. He was 86.

Mr. Hewitt arrived at CBS in 1948 and worked as producer or director for CBS legends Edward R. Murrow, Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite.

His greatest legacy was the television news magazine format on 60 Minutes starting in 1968.

“In the history of journalism, there have been few who were as creative, dynamic and versatile as Don Hewitt,” said CBS President Leslie Moonves in a statement.

Hewitt's career spanned 60 years, most of them at CBS. He reluctantly stepped down as executive producer of 60 Minutes in 2003 after having repeatedly said he would have preferred to have died at his desk.

He also contributed to the coverage of the first televised political conventions in Philadelphia in 1948 and Chicago in 1952.