Veteran ABC News science editor Jules Bergman, believed to be the nation’s first network correspondent to hold that position full-time, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Thursday. Police said Bergman, 57, whose body was discovered by a maid, apparently died of natural causes.
An ABC network spokeswoman said an autopsy will be made to determine the cause of Bergman’s death. He had undergone an operation for a brain tumor several years ago, but had returned to work, she said.
Bergman, a New York native, joined ABC as a news writer in 1954. An accomplished pilot, he became a specialist in aerospace reportage and covered every U.S. manned spaceflight since the first by Alan Shepard in 1961, the same year Bergman became science editor.
He also was on hand for the January, 1986, Challenger disaster, the fiery deaths of three astronauts in a launch pad explosion in 1967 and the explosion that threatened the Apollo 13 astronauts as they headed for the moon.
In 1974, he wrote and narrated a documentary entitled “Fire” that won an Emmy award.
Bergman also covered medical breakthroughs such as heart transplants, cancer treatment and the search for the cause of Legionnaire’s disease.
His last network broadcast was Jan. 22 when he covered a symposium on the future of space.
ABC News President Roone Arledge, in a prepared statement, said Bergman “will be sorely missed” by his colleagues and those he covered. The newsman is survived by his wife, Joanna, and three children.