Bill Plante’s Married Life: Late CBS Journalist’s Two Marriages Explored

William Bill Plante who worked with CBS news for more than 50 years passed away on Wednesday. He was one of the longest-serving White House broadcast journalists in history and contributed to topics like Vietnam War, the civil rights movement and five presidents. He died at his home in Washington at the age of 84. According to his wife, the cause of the death was respiratory failure.


More about Bill Plante

After working as a senior White House correspondent in CBS news for 52 years, he retired in 2016. He participated in four tours in Vietnam having award-winning reporting on the fall of Saigon and Cambodia. On top of that, Plante also covered the civil rights movement, all the presidential elections from 1968 to 2016. He was the anchor of the “CBS Sunday Night News” from 1988 to 1995.

Bill Plante Controversy

Plante was known for his fierce and honest journalism. He was also known for being frustrated with the ones who didn’t answer his questions or avoided him. Thus, he used to shout at them.


On one such occasion, When President George W. Bush’s senior political adviser Karl Rove, stepped down in 2007, Democrats took control of both houses of Congress in the midterm elections for more than nine months after, Mr. Rove and Bush left the press jointly but did not answer any questions from the media.

As a result, Plante shouted, “If he’s so smart. Why did you lose Congress ?” When the media asked him about his rude behavior, he said, “If we didn’t yell, we’d be walking away from our First Amendment role — and then we really would be the shills we’re so often accused of being.”

Bill Plante
Bill Plante (Credit: CBS)

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Personal Life

Bill had married two times in his life. He tied the knot with Barbara Barnes in the early 1950s. He adopted her four sons from her previous marriage and they had two more children of their own.


One of the sons he adopted was the popular radio talk show host Chris Plante. But, they, unfortunately, divorced in 1969. Also, Patrick, one of his sons predeceased him in 2014. He was also predeceased by his first wife, Barbara.


He then went on to marry Robin Smith in 1987, who is a documentary film producer. This adorable couple’s marriage was also featured in “The New York Times”. Robin was the producer of NBC news at the time of their marriage.

She is well known for producing the much appreciated 1985 documentary “American Almanac” and the 2007 doc, “Ready to Play”. They stayed married to each other for almost 34 years until Plante died.

Bill Plante is not only survived by his wife but also his three brothers, Richard, Jim, and John. When it came to his children, he is survived by his sons Michael, Dan, Christopher, Brian, and David. Not only that, he is also survived by eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

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