Rex Tillerson honored at A Conversation With a Living Legend

CBS News' Bob Schieffer interviews former U.S. Secretary of State; event raises record $1.78 million for MD Anderson Cancer Center

In his first interview since leaving public office in March, former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke to CBS News' Bob Schieffer about the state of domestic and world affairs at a dinner Dec. 6 benefiting The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. More than 850 MD Anderson supporters attended the 10th annual A Conversation With a Living Legend® in Houston, which raised more than $1.78 million for cancer research and patient care initiatives at MD Anderson.

The program, held hours after former President George H.W. Bush's graveside service at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, began with a tribute to the nation's 41st commander in chief. Bush, who along with former first lady Barbara Bush was a Life Member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, served in several officer positions on the volunteer advisory board, including chair, from 2001 to 2003.

"We all share profoundly in the loss of an extraordinary man who was not only an internationally respected bipartisan leader and humanitarian, but also a devoted friend of MD Anderson," said Schieffer.

Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson, reflected on a "renewed commitment to Making Cancer History" inspired by President Bush's example of "leadership, philanthropic support and unwavering dedication to MD Anderson."

"Our more than 20,000 cancer fighters will continue to work every day toward a common goal," he said, referencing the work of Jim Allison, Ph.D., chair of Immunotherapy, who will receive the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine next week in Stockholm. "Dr. Allison has revolutionized cancer research and patient care by working to unleash the human body's immune system to fight cancer. I’m delighted to express our heartfelt thanks for your support of trailblazers like Dr. Allison and all of us at MD Anderson in our mission to end cancer."

Highlights of the evening, emceed by Shara Fryer of 740KTRH News Radio, included remarks by Kathy and Jeff Love, event chairs, and UT System Chancellor James Milliken.

Tillerson was selected as MD Anderson’s “living legend” due to his service as the nation’s 69th secretary of state from February 2017 to March 2018. He retired in 2016 as chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil Corporation.

Next year Schieffer will mark half a century with CBS News, where he covered the major Washington, D.C. beats and anchored “Face the Nation” for a record 24 years. He has won eight Emmys and is a member of the Broadcasting Hall of Fame.