Thanatos Report This Comment
Date: July 17, 2009 10:23PM
Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. was born Nov. 4, 1916, in St. Joseph, Mo., the son
and grandson of dentists. The family moved to Houston when he was 10. He joked
years later that he was disappointed when he "didn't see a single damn
He got a taste of journalism at The Houston Post, where he worked summers after
high school and served as campus correspondent at the University of Texas. He
also did some sports announcing at a local radio station.
Cronkite quit school after his junior year for a full-time job with the Houston
Press. After a brief stint at KCMO in Kansas City, Mo., he joined United Press
in 1937. Dispatched to London early in World War II, Cronkite covered the battle
of the North Atlantic, flew on a bombing mission over Germany and glided into
Holland with the 101st Airborne Division. He was a chief correspondent at the
postwar Nuremberg trials and spent his final two years with the news service
managing its Moscow bureau.
Cronkite returned to the United States in 1948 and covered Washington for a
group of Midwest radio stations. He then accepted Edward R. Murrow's invitation
to join CBS in 1950. At CBS he found a respected radio-news organization
dipping its toe into TV, and it put him in front of the camera. He was named
anchor for CBS's coverage of the 1952 political conventions, the first year the
presidential nominations got wide TV coverage. From there, he was assigned to
such news-oriented programs as "You Are There" and "Twentieth
Century." (He also briefly hosted a morning show, accompanied by a puppet
named Charlemagne the Lion.)
On April 16, 1962, he replaced Douglas Edwards as anchor of the network's
Cronkite was the face of the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981,
when stories ranged from the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to racial and anti-war riots, Watergate and the
Iranian hostage crisis.
It was Cronkite who read the bulletins coming from Dallas when Kennedy was shot
Nov. 22, 1963, interrupting a live CBS-TV broadcast of the soap opera "As
the World Turns."
Cronkite was the broadcaster to whom the title "anchorman" was first
applied, and he came so identified in that role that eventually his own name
became the term for the job in other languages. (Swedish anchors are known as
Kronkiters; In Holland, they are Cronkiters.)
"The most trusted man in America", Cronkite died at 7:42 p.m. with his
family by his side at his Manhattan home after a long illness, CBS vice
president Linda Mason said. Marlene Adler, Cronkite's chief of staff, said
Cronkite died of cerebrovascular disease.
Morley Safer, a longtime "60 Minutes" correspondent, called Cronkite
"the father of television news."
"The trust that viewers placed in him was based on the recognition of his
fairness, honesty and strict objectivity ... and of course his long experience
as a shoe-leather reporter covering everything from local politics to World War
II and its aftermath in the Soviet Union," Safer said. "He was a giant
of journalism and privately one of the funniest, happiest men I've ever
dv8 Report This Comment
Date: July 18, 2009 01:20AM
cronkite was overrated!