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Winston Burdett, a Buffalo native whose career as a journalist for CBS spanned four decades, died at his home after a long illness. He was 79.

Burdett died Wednesday afternoon (May 19, 1993) in Rome, the city he adopted as his home after retiring from CBS in 1978, said his son, Richard.

Burdett's family lived at 756 Ashland Ave., and he attended Trinity School in New York and graduated from Harvard University in 1933.

He began his career in the 1930s as a film and theater critic for the Brooklyn Eagle. At the onset of World War II, he became a stringer for CBS radio and made his first broadcast, from Stockholm, Sweden, in 1939.

While in Europe, Burdett was chosen by Edward R. Murrow to help cover the war for CBS. He broadcast from the Balkans, North Africa and Italy when the allies landed.

He returned to Italy in 1948 to report on the country's first elections after the war and in 1956 returned to Rome for good as the chief European correspondent for CBS. During the next 22 years, he reported on four papal installations, dozens of governments and the dark years of Red Brigade terrorist attacks.

In 1955, Burdett told the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee he had been a member of the Communist Party from 1937 to 1942, while he was working for the Brooklyn Eagle, before he joined CBS.

As a correspondent, he traveled frequently to the Middle East and to India. In 1967 he covered the Arab-Israeli war from Cairo, Egypt, where he was one of the few American journalists reporting.

He turned his experiences in Egypt into the book "Encounters of the Middle East."

Burdett also was a scholar of Italian art and literature, and when he died was writing a book on 19th century author Alessandro Manzoni.

In addition to his son, Burdett is survived by his wife, Georgina, and a daughter, Christina. Funeral services are scheduled in Rome on Saturday.

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