When it comes to the role of television news anchors, Walter Cronkite was the first of his kind. After he launched the CBS Evening News in 1962, America fell in love with Cronkite’s honesty, level-headedness, and bias-free reporting. In honor of his birthday, let’s take a moment to remember “The Most Trusted Man in America.”
Cronkite made the risky move of dropping out of The University of Texas his junior year to follow his dream of reporting. After several reporting jobs and a short time spent as a radio announcer, Cronkite was selected to be one of the eight journalists making up the Writing 69th group of the United States Army Air Forces. Following his time with the group, he served as the United Press main reporter in Moscow from 1946 to 1948.
In 1950, Cronkite joined the CBS News team and helped launch the CBS Evening News in 1962. Throughout his time there, Cronkite lead America through history from wars to moon landings, making him a staple part of American homes.
Throughout his career Cronkite had many triumphs, including being the lead broadcaster of CBS 1960 Winter Olympics, marking the first time the Olympics were televised in the United States. Other historical markers in his career included breaking the news of the death of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, introducing the Beatles to America, on-location reporting during the Vietnam War, pushing the Watergate scandal to the forefront of the American Public, and announcing the death of President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1981, Cronkite retired from the CBS Evening News, but continued in true entrepreneurial spirit to work on additional projects including CBS’s Universe, Public Broadcasting System’s Why in the World, Arts and Entertainment’s Dinosaur, and Cronkite Remembers, a short series airing on CBS and the Discovery Channel.
Cronkite’s list of awards includes two Peabody Awards, 1981 Presidential Medal of Freedom, several Emmy Awards, and the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award. Cronkite passed away on July 17, 2009, but remains in the heart of America as the first of his kind.
“And that’s the way it is.”