The TV veteran was the first host of what became Good Morning America

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated March 20, 2006 08:20 AM
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Bill Beutel, veteran TV news anchor and host of the show that evolved into ABC’s Good Morning America, died Saturday in his North Carolina home following complications from a progressive neurological disorder. He was 75.

Always measured and gentlemanly, Beutel, whose trademark signoff was “Good luck and be well,” closed WABC’s nightly local newscast in New York for more than 30 years. In 1975, Beutel hosted AM America, the network’s national morning news show.

Winner of several Emmys and Peabody awards, Beutel began as a radio reporter in his hometown of Cleveland. He started working in TV in 1962, appearing as a reporter for ABC national news and as an anchor for the local evening newscast.

After a stint as ABC’s London bureau chief, where he worked with a young Peter Jennings, Beutel returned to New York to man the local anchor desk in 1970. He stepped down in 2001, continuing to report for the network for another two years.

His wife; a sister; four children from a previous marriage; and eight grandchildren survive him, according to The New York Times.