Friday, July 17, 2009


From 1962 until 1981, Walter Cronkite was the voice and face of history in the making.He reported our destiny on deadline.The myriad stories he brought us challenged our thoughts, touched our hearts, and changed our lives.

For almost two decades, millions of Americans waited dinner for THE CBS EVENING NEWS with Walter Cronkite, and he was always a welcome guest.

The Missouri native was truly the first person in television to be called an "anchorman." Video visionary and protean producer, Don Hewitt, coined the phrase to describe the role Cronkite would play in CBS NEWS coverage of the 1952 political conventions.Today in Sweden, anchorman are called "Cronkiters."

Walter Cronkite was acclaimed, in a 1972, public opinion poll, as America's most trusted person,overtaking the presidents and power brokers on whom he reported.

Through the years, the manifold events of any particular news day were not fully validated until this journalistic icon, declared , in his trademark tag line to the CBS EVENING NEWS with Walter Cronkite,"That's the way it is!"

Walter Cronkite passed away in his New York home at the age of 92,this evening, after battling a long and complicated, degenerative disease.

This consummate newsman was the voice of verity who broke the news of a young president gunned down in Dallas, and of a tormented Chief Executive who stepped down in Washington DC. He give insight to a war we could not win in the steaming jungles of Southeast Asia,and was all but speechless when Americans were victorious in the race to land human beings on the powdery,barren surface of the Moon.

As a print reporter ,Walter Cronkite covered World War II in Europe, and came home to explain the Korean War on WTOP TV , the CBS-TV affiliate in Washington DC. There, he hosted primitive news shows about the conflict, where troop movements were depicted on a chalk board. Walter Cronkite could ad-lib accurately and confidently, without the benefit of teleprompter (not yet invented) or script.

In 1950, the legendary Edward R. Murrow recruited him as a CBS NEWS correspondent.I think we all know how that turned out.

In my humble opinion, Walter Cronkite was simply the platinum standard for journalists.

He was an indefatigable advocate for the First Amendment. His work ethic was impeccable and it's true that the former United Press International, wire service reporter was also demanding of colleagues. Cronkite's fealty to fact and commitment to context gave him professional credibility and personal gravitas. Walter Cronkite's formal, yet approachable, Mid-Western demeanor and sonorous voice,made him a trusted presence.

The irony that Walter Cronkite's death would come as we commemorate one of the greatest events in history and one of his favorite stories , the 40th anniversary of man landing on the Moon,is not lost on any of us.

Here is how his professional home since the Truman administration, CBS NEWS, announced his passing, this evening:

Watch CBS Videos Online

It is best, in my estimation , to offer the final word to Walter Cronkite himself. He explained so many complex events, explored so many intricate issues, profiled so many extraordinary people, that it seems only fair to allow him to offer the accounting of his own time among us.

Here, with his well honed sense of journalistic skepticism , voluble good humor and affable atttitude in tact,Walter Cronkite has the story of his lifetime. Enjoy!!!

Watch CBS Videos Online

R.I.P. Walter Cronkite 1916-2009.

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