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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Marty Plissner, longtime CBS News political director, dies at age 87

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The family of Marty Plissner says the longtime political director of CBS News has died of lung cancer.

He was 87.

Plissner was credited with coining the phrase "too close to call."

He was a pioneer of exit polls and was known to say that members of Congress who had pushed for limits on them would often call him on primary days seeking information on what they revealed.

He was born in Brooklyn in 1926, graduated from Yale and joined CBS News in 1964. He helped cover the 1964 presidential campaigns as well as the next eight presidential elections. He retired in 1997 as senior political director.

Plissner wrote about that era in his 1999 book, "The Control Room: How Television Calls the Shots in Presidential Elections."

He died Thursday.

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