’60 Minutes’ Producer Katie Spikes Dead from Cancer at 53: ‘She Is Irreplaceable’

Spikes' death was announced during Thursday's broadcast of 'CBS Evening News'

Katie Spikes and Pamela Martin attend the Entertainment Weekly Cocktail Reception during the 24th SCAD Savannah Film Festival

The team behind 60 Minutes has had to say to goodbye to one of its own.

Katie Spikes, a longtime 60 Minutes and CBS News producer, died Tuesday after a five-year battle with cancer. She was 53.

News of her death was first announced by special correspondent James Brown during Thursday’s broadcast of CBS Evening News.

“Katie Spikes was a talented producer, a beloved colleague, mentor and friend,” said Brown, 72. “She was survived by her loving husband Donald [Furrer], her two sons 16-year-old James [and] 12-year-old Owen and a stepson, 27-year-old Brandon.”

Brown concluded, “All of us here at CBS News extend our deepest sympathies to her family.”

We at 60 Minutes are mourning the loss of our longtime producer, Katie Spikes, and extend our deepest sympathies to her family.

In a statement shared after Thursday’s broadcast, executive producer Bill Owens said, “Katie was such an important force on the ninth floor [home of 60 Minutes] that it is hard to put into words.”

“She was the relentless positive energy that everyone sought out. Smart, funny, hardworking, and a genius friend and mentor,” he continued. “I valued Katie’s opinion because she wasn’t afraid to take the other side of an argument and always had impeccable taste.”

Additionally, correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi regarded Spikes as “a talented producer, a fearless newsroom diplomat and an irreplaceable and unwavering friend.” Alfonsi added, “Katie loved to amplify the stories of underdogs from all walks of life. In the sometimes dark and heavy newsroom, Katie Spikes was joy and light. She is irreplaceable.”

Spikes, born Katharine Alma Spikes, was 60 Minutes‘ senior story editor, handling many of the big-name guest bookings for the program, including former President Barack Obama. She had worked at CBS for the last three decades, taking on various roles, including being a founding senior producer of 60 Minutes Sports.

She experienced many career highs at CBS, having helmed a leading role in the network’s coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. She earned an Emmy Award in 1997 for her work surrounding the death of Princess Diana.

Before spending the bulk of her career at CBS, the New York native was a talent producer for Larry King Live.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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