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Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite

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Also Known As: Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. Died: July 17, 2009
Born: November 4, 1916 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: St. Joseph, Missouri, USA Profession: news anchor, writer, reporter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Known as Uncle Walter to millions of Americans, and "Old Iron Pants" to his former colleagues, anchorman Walter Cronkite was the face of "The CBS Evening News" (1948- ) for 19 years. In that time, Cronkite was a reassuring presence in the face of the greatest - and often tragic - events of the 20th century. From his start as a wire reporter for the United Press during World War II, Cronkite cultivated a reputation for delivering clean, unembellished news that was bolstered by an intense drive to fact-check every detail. Though at first reluctant to make the switch from print to the burgeoning world of television in the early 1950s, Cronkite became one of the pioneers of onscreen journalism, often creating the methods of reporting later generations of television reporters took for granted. When he became the anchor of CBS News in 1962, Cronkite had a unique viewpoint from which to observe one of the country's most turbulent times, reporting on the assassination of a president, a destructive war overseas and the eventual resignation of another president. Through it all, America looked to Uncle Walter for comfort and unnerving perspective, making Cronkite the "most trusted man" in America for over half...

Known as Uncle Walter to millions of Americans, and "Old Iron Pants" to his former colleagues, anchorman Walter Cronkite was the face of "The CBS Evening News" (1948- ) for 19 years. In that time, Cronkite was a reassuring presence in the face of the greatest - and often tragic - events of the 20th century. From his start as a wire reporter for the United Press during World War II, Cronkite cultivated a reputation for delivering clean, unembellished news that was bolstered by an intense drive to fact-check every detail. Though at first reluctant to make the switch from print to the burgeoning world of television in the early 1950s, Cronkite became one of the pioneers of onscreen journalism, often creating the methods of reporting later generations of television reporters took for granted. When he became the anchor of CBS News in 1962, Cronkite had a unique viewpoint from which to observe one of the country's most turbulent times, reporting on the assassination of a president, a destructive war overseas and the eventual resignation of another president. Through it all, America looked to Uncle Walter for comfort and unnerving perspective, making Cronkite the "most trusted man" in America for over half a century.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Toots (2006)
4.
 On Common Ground (2000)
5.
 FAIL SAFE (2000) Introduction
6.
8.
 4 Little Girls (1997) Himself
9.
 We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) Voice Of Captain Neweyes
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Was a reporter for <i>The Houston Press</i> as as their campus correspondent
1936:
Returned to Kansas City, MO and worked as an announcer for KCMO
1937:
Began working for the United Press Wire Service; reassigned by the wire service to their New York office in 1941
:
Was the chief correspondent at Nuremberg trials and served as the bureau chief in Moscow for two years
1992:
Signed a three year deal with Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel to anchor, executive produce, and executive edit various projects
1995:
Broadway debut, providing voice-over for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"
1997:
Successfully underwent heart bypass surgery to repair
1950:
Recruited by Edward R. Murrow to join CBS News
:
Began working at WTOP-TV, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.
1952:
Anchored the first nationally-televised Democratic and Republican National Conventions
1953:
Hosted CBS' reenactment series that covered famous historical events, "You Are There"
1957:
Narrated the long-running documentary program "The 20th Century" (CBS); renamed "The 21st Century" in 1967
1962:
Succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of the "CBS Evening News"
1963:
Widely remembered for breaking the news of the death of President John F. Kennedy
1969:
Remembered for his coverage of the landing of the first manned spacecraft on the moon
1974:
Made a cameo appearance as himself in an episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS)
1979:
Hosted a 30-minute series on the complexities of modern life, "Walter Cronkite's Universe" (CBS)
1980:
Had a cameo role in the film "A Private Battle"
1985:
Narrated the IMAX film about the Space Shuttle, "The Dream is Alive"
1986:
Was the narrator's voice in the EPCOT Center attraction, "Spaceship Earth," at Walt Disney World
1995:
Provided the voice of Captain Neweyes in the animated film "We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story"
1995:
Provided the voice of the titular book in the Broadway revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"
1997:
Narrated the eight-part Discovery Channel special "Cronkite Remembers"
2002:
Voiced Benjamin Franklin in the educational series, "Liberty's Kids"
2003:
Wrote a syndicated opinion column for <i>King Features Syndicate</i>
2005:
Contributed to <i>The Huffington Post</i>
2005:
Appeared briefly in the documentary "The American Ruling Class"
2006:
The 90-minute documentary "Walter Cronkite: Witness to History" was aired on PBS
2006:
Provided the voiceover introduction to the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

San Jacinto High School: Houston , Texas -
University of Texas at Austin: Austin , Texas - 1935

Notes

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine wanted Cronkite to play the Narrator role in their stage production, "Into the Woods", but Cronkite declined. In 1995, he provided voice-overs, however, for the musical revival of "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", starring Matthew Broderick.

Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1985

In December 1998, the American Society of the French Legion of Honor gave Cronkite its highest award, the Medal for Distinguished Achievement.

He is a chevalier in the French Legion of Honor.

"Our most reliable world guide; someone so familiar and real to us he might have been a close friend." --Dalma Heyn, in a March 1985 profile in 50 Plus.

"There were better speakers, better interviewers, and better-looking people than me. [But somehow] people sensed I believe in what I'm doing." --Walter Cronkite

"A good journalist doesn't just know the public, he is the public. He feels the same things they do." --Walter Cronkite in TV Guide.

"A radio figure ... doesn't belong on the TV medium." --Marshall McLuhan

"We didn't elect Walter Cronkite President of The United States." --Ted Turner

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Betsy Cronkite. Journalist. Married on March 30, 1940.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Walter Cronkite Sr. Dentist.
mother:
Helen Cronkite. Died November 1993 at age 101.
daughter:
Nancy Elizabeth Cronkite.
daughter:
Mary Kathleen Cronkite. Actor.
son:
Walter Leland Cronkite III. TV producer.
daughter-in-law:
Deborah Rush. Actor.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Eye on the World" Cowles
"The Challenge of Change" Public Affairs
"I Can Hear It Now: The Sixties"
"South by Southeast" Oxmoor House
"North by Northeast" Oxmoor House
"Westwind" Oxmoor House
"A Reporter's Life" Alfred A. Knopf
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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