RIP Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite is dead at age 92. He anchored the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981. Tom Wicker reviewed Cronkite’s 1997 autobiography with highlights of his remarkable career.
When John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas in 1963, Walter Cronkite stayed on the air for the Columbia Broadcasting System for countless hours. His performance that weekend helped pull together a nation stricken with grief and was a signal event in television’s evolution into the national nervous system.
When Mr. Cronkite came back from Vietnam after the Tet offensive of 1968, he concluded on national television that the war had become no better than a stalemate. Hearing that, President Lyndon Johnson told associates, ”If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” And he had. When Mr. Cronkite asked Robert Kennedy, then a senator from New York, whether he would run for President in 1968, Kennedy turned the tables: he proposed that Mr. Cronkite should run for the Senate. Mr. Cronkite refused, but the idea reflected polls showing that a journalist — a television journalist at that — had become the most trusted man in America.
One of his iconic broadcasts was his coverage of he 1969 moon landing, so it can’t be lost on us that his passing coincides with the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. During that event Cronkite spent 27 of the mission’s 30 hours on the air, and was sometimes called “the eighth astronaut.”Click here for reuse options!
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