Veteran 60 Minutes and CBS News producer Katie Spikes has died at the age of 53 after a five-year battle with cancer.
Spikes, who died on Tuesday, was known for her behind the scenes role at the CBS show – and particularly her ability to get big-name guests such as former president Barack Obama.
The senior story editor was also behind last year’s 60 Minutes profile of Tony Bennet, who died last week. The episode showed how the jazz legend could still perform despite suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
She leaves behind her husband Donald Furrer, their sons, James and Owen, 14 and 12, and her stepson, Brandon, as well as her parents Judith and James and sister Sarah.
The network said on Thursday: ‘We here at CBS News have lost a member of our family. Longtime and producer Katie Spikes has died following a five-year battle against cancer.
‘Katie was a talented producer, a beloved colleague, mentor and friend.’
60 Minutes’ executive producer Bill Owens also issued a statement to mark Spike’s death.
’60 Minutes has lost a very dear friend and colleague,’ he 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.
‘I valued Katie’s opinion because she wasn’t afraid to take the other side of an argument and always had impeccable taste.”
Spikes won an Emmy for her coverage of Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
The producer also took a center role in CBS’ coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
She worked at CBS for three decades and previously served as a talent producer at CNN’s Larry King Live in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.
CBS News’ president also honored Spikes after her passing.
She wrote on X/Twitter: ‘We remember 60 min colleague Katie Spikes – Katie never got mad never ever said a cross word-when times were rough she was the light – she embodied positivity.
‘CBS – 60 min and the world lost a piece of their heart. Our love and support for the family you are in our prayers.’
CBS News’ managing editor Norah O’Donnell added: ‘Our hearts are broken to lose this amazing friend and producer, Katie Spikes.’
Born in New York City in 1969, Spikes died at home in Westfield, New Jersey.
Spikes’ husband Furrer, a financier, has not publicly reacted to her death, but has been sharing loved-up pictures of the couple on Facebook over the last days.
The two married in 2006 in a wedding mentioned by The New York Times.