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Walter Cronkite

Born: 1916 AD
Died: 2009 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Authors, Journalist, Reporters

US television newscaster




1916 – Born- 4 November – St. Joseph, MO




1920’s – 1930’s – the only son of his dentist father, Walter Leland Cronkite Sr. and Mother Helena Lena Fritsch. While he was still a youngster, the family moved to Texas. Cronkite worked in a newsstand selling newspapers, His reading about the exploits of foreign correspondents inspired his interest in journalism. Preparation for that vocation began with his work on his high school yearbook and newspaper.



1933 – he entered the University of Texas at Austin and took a part-time job with the Houston Post.



1935 – This set him on a professional career which led him to abandon college after two years to serve as a general reporter for the Post, a radio announcer in Kansas City, and a sportscaster in Oklahoma City. 



1939 – later he wrote for Scripps-Howard and United Press International. With UPI, Cronkite covered World War II from North Africa and Europe. He filed reports from the scene of D-Day, flew on U.S. World War II bombing missions over Germany, and covered Germany’s surrender in 1945.



1940 – Married advertising writer, Mary Elizabeth Maxwell, (They have 2 daughters and 1 son)




1950 – To this point Cronkite was largely unknown to the general public. he went to work for the CBS affiliate in Washington DC, and soon he was hired by the network. 



1952 – his quadrennial service as anchor of the CBS coverage of the national political party conventions. With the exception of the 1964 Democratic convention, he continued this role until his retirement in 1981.



1952-1954- he was narrator for "You Are There," a television program in which major historical events were re-created. He anchored You Are There, where historical events were dramatized and ‘covered’ as breaking news, and narrated network documentaries, back when CBS used to do serious news documentaries.



1954-1970 – he became narrator of "The Twentieth Century," a monumental television documentary which established Cronkite’s recognition with the viewing public.



1962-1981- "The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite". When Cronkite took over The CBS Evening News in 1962, the newscast was just 15 minutes long, but he soon oversaw its extension to a half hour. For most Americans, it was Cronkite who told them when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, when Watergate became more than a trivial burglary, and when Richard M. Nixon resigned.



1963 – He was also quite diligent about not becoming part of the story he was reporting. Yet there were memorable instances when he failed to remain completely detached from a story: his obvious emotional reaction when announcing the death of President John Kennedy in 1963.



1967 – For several years Cronkite’s ratings trailed NBC’s Chet Huntley-David Brinkley news duo, but CBS took the lead, and held the audience until Cronkite’s retirement in 1981.



1981-1992 – After retiring as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," Cronkite served as CBS News special correpondent and on the network’s board of directors.



He has recieved many awards over the last 45 years, here are a few,


1981- Presidential Medal of Freedom.


1994- American Philosophical Society.


2003- American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



In his last work for CBS News, Cronkite recorded a voice-over introducing the The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, in 2006.



2006- "American Masters", Walter Cronkite – Witness to History.



1971-2004 – Authored 4 books, Eyes on the World (1971) A Reporter’s Life (1996)

Around America: A Tour of Our Magnificent Coastline (2001) The Sixties Chronicle (2004)