Edward Roscoe Murrow, 1908 - 1965

portrait of Edward R. Murrow
Preparing a newscast for CBS, 1957

Born: 25 April 1908, Polecat Creek, Guilford County, North Carolina
Died: 27 April 1965, Pawling, Dutchess County, New York

Born to Quaker parents who lived in a primitive log cabin, the family moved to Blanchard, Washington six years later. Murrow graduated from high school at tiny Edison, then went to Washington State College at Pullman, majoring in speech and graduating in 1930. He moved to New York where he worked at the Institute of International Education until 1935 when he started at CBS. He headed CBS' operations in Europe starting in 1937 but didn't actually go on the air until the Anschluss, Hitler's annexation of Austria. He organized an unprecedented radio report featuring reporters in six cities. From then through the war, it was Murrow's voice that America turned to for news from Europe. As television news began in the early 1950s Murrow produced special reports and editorials for CBS, creating the weekly See it Now in 1951 and Person to Person in 1953. His 1954 coverage of Senator Joseph McCarthy broke the Wisconsin senator's momentum attacking the "red scare". He left CBS after personal conflicts with CBS chairman Bill Paley, John F. Kennedy tapped him to head the United States Information Agency. Lyndon Johnson asked him to stay on but he declined based on health, three packs of Camels a day had caught up with him and cost him a lung two years before his death. Ironically, See it Now had been the first television source to cover the health risks of smoking.

Biography from Wikipedia and The Museum of Broadcast Communications

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