Reporter Steve Dunleavy dead at 81

Steve Dunleavy. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Discovery)

Legendary NY Post columnist Steve Dunleavy died Monday at his home on Long Island at the age of 81.

The cause of death was unknown, reported the Post.

Dunleavy, a native of Sydney, Australia, landed major exclusives including interviews with the mother of Sirhan Sirhan, Robert F. Kennedy's assassin, and confessed "Boston Strangler" Albert DeSalvo.

"Steve Dunleavy was one of the greatest reporters of all time," Rupert Murdoch, owner of the paper, told the Post.

Murdoch hired Dunleavy for the National Star tabloid and later the Post.

In 1986, Murdoch named Dunleavy one of the first reporters for the FOX show, A Current Affair.

"Whether competing with his own father in the famous Sydney, Australia, tabloid wars, or over the last 40 years in New York, Steve's life story is littered with great scoops. He was much loved by both his colleagues and editors." "His passing is the end of a great era," Murdoch added.

Dunleavy admitted to posing as a police officer, public servant and funeral director countless times in order to get the scoop on a story. 

He was also known for being a heavy drinker.

In 2008, he retired from the Post due to his failing health.

He is survived by his wife Gloria, and their sons, Peter and Sean.