Stanley Karnow was a journalist turned historian. From 1959 to 1971, he was a reporter in South Vietnam for a variety of newspapers. In 1983, he produced a documentary titled "Vietnam: A History" that ran on PBS. It was based on a book Karnow had authored that covered Vietnam's history from the ancient past to the present. The book attempted to discuss the Vietnam War from both sides, and was a runaway best-seller. It was one of the first works of history to document the entire Vietnam War.
His documentary was the most successful on PBS at the time. Nearly 10 million people watched its 13 episodes. It won six Emmy Awards, and a Peabody, Polk, and duPont-Columbia award. Its record viewership was exceeded only by Ken Burns' "The Civil War" in 1990.
Karnow died of congestive heart failure today at his home in Potomac, Md.