Almanac: Walter Cronkite

On November 4, 1916, 102 years ago today, future CBS News correspondent Walter Cronkite was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. Cronkite became a journalist at a young age as a reporter for the United Press during World War II.

He joined CBS News in 1950, and in September 1963, he anchored a television news breakthrough: The first daily half-hour network news program.

Just two months later, Cronkite would break into afternoon network programming with a bulletin that chills us to this day:

In 1968, Cronkite traveled to Vietnam, and made headlines of his own, with his assessment of the war: “It is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.”

Then in July of 1969, a far happier moment: the first manned landing on the moon: “Man on the moon! Oh, boy!”

Cronkite’s even-handed and authoritative reporting earned him the unofficial title, “The Most Trusted Man in America.” And after nearly two decades in the “Evening News” anchor chair, he signed off one last time with his signature close:

“And that’s the way it is, Friday, March 6th, 1981.”

Walter Cronkite died in 2009 at the age of 92.  The high standards he established guide CBS News to this day.

For more info:

  • Walter Cronkite 1916-2006 (CBS News)
  • Gallery: Walter Cronkite

Story produced by Juliana Kracov. 

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