Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr, 1917 - 2009

portrait of Walter Cronkite
At Naitonal Air and Space Museum (2004)

Born: 4 November 1916, St. Joseph, Missouri
Died: 17 July 2009, New York City

While in high school at Houston, Texas he was a cub reporter at the Houston Post, and had a paper route, possibly the only journalist to deliver his own words to subscribers. While attending the 1933 Chicago World's Fair he participated in a demonstration of television, thus allowing him to tell other journalists that he had been on TV before any of them. He left college for a job at the Houston Press, then worked at several midwest radio stations (he met his wife Betty at KCMO at Kansas City, Missouri in 1940) before joining United Press to cover World War II. He waded ashore on D-Day, parachuted into combat, and flew bomber missions. He was UP's lead correspondent for the Nürnberg trials, then reopened several European offices before opening and managing the Moscow office. Edward R. Murrow hired him at CBS in 1950. When he led the CBS team at the 1952 party conventions he was called the anchor, a term that is now almost universal in TV news. (In Sweden they are called "Kronkiters", in Holland "Cronkites".) In April of 1962 Cronkite became the anchor of the CBS Evening News, although he insisted on Managing Editor as his title, a position he held until 1981. When he returned from Vietnam after the Tet offensive of 1968 and described the war as a stalemate, President Johnson decided not to run for reelection. When the US sent men into space, Cronkite kept us up to date and kept America interested. Instead of hearing "Uncle Walter's" baritone delivery of the news, now I get my news delivered by e-mail. "And that's the way it is."

Biography from Wikipedia and New York Times obituary

Walter Cronkite quotes:

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