Steve Kroft has spent the last 25 years on 60 minutes.
He will kick off the 46th year of 60 Minutes this week with a report on the state of mental health in America and how it relates to mass shootings.
“It seems these shootings are all done by variations of the same person who suffer from variations of the same [mental] disease,” Kroft told the Daily News.
In terms of his anniversary on the show, Kroft laughs.
“For the last 25 years I’ve been the youngster on ‘60 Minutes.’ Finally I’m an old codger.”
Kroft, 68, who has been with CBS a whopping 30 years, didn’t set out to be a TV reporter.
At Syracuse University in the mid-1960s, he put himself on course to be in advertising.
“I wanted to be Don Draper,” he said.
“At that time the most creative things being done in media were done in Hollywood and in commercials,” Kroft said.
After he graduated, Kroft was drafted and sent to Vietnam, where he eventually went to work for Stars and Stripes, the U.S. armed forces newspaper.
He recalls crossing paths back then with “60 Minutes” legend Morley Safer, who was on assignment for CBS.
“We’ve talked about it,” Kroft says of the encounter. “He doesn’t remember me. I told him I was there and let him know that on the day he came in [to the newspaper] everybody was totally panicked.”
Since then, he’s filed around 500 reports for “60 Minutes” — among them a visit to Chernobyl, blockbuster investigative stories on financial shenanigans and far too many profiles of notable people to count.
“I’ve interviewed Presidents and porn stars, spent time on the beach with movie stars at Cannes,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to play golf with Clint Eastwood and shoot hoops with LeBron James — all in the course of my employment,” he said.
“Not a bad gig.”