|Birth Day:||November 4, 1916|
|Death Date:||Jul 17, 2009 (age 92)|
|Birth Place:||Saint Joseph, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Walter Cronkite died on Jul 17, 2009 (age 92).
He was an active Boy Scouts member.
Cronkite was born on November 4, 1916, in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the son of Helen Lena (née Fritsche) and Dr. Walter Leland Cronkite, a dentist.
Cronkite lived in Kansas City, Missouri, until he was ten, when his family moved to Houston, Texas. He attended elementary school at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, junior high school at Lanier Junior High School (now Lanier Middle School) and high school at San Jacinto High School, where he edited the high school newspaper. He was a member of the Boy Scouts. He attended college at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), entering in the Fall term of 1933, where he worked on the Daily Texan and became a member of the Nu chapter of the Chi Phi Fraternity. He also was a member of the Houston chapter of DeMolay, a Masonic fraternal organization for boys. While attending UT, Cronkite had his first taste of performance, appearing in a play with fellow student Eli Wallach. He dropped out in 1935, not returning for the Fall term, in order to concentrate on journalism.
He dropped out of college in his junior year, in the fall term of 1935, after starting a series of newspaper reporting jobs covering news and sports. He entered broadcasting as a radio announcer for WKY in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1936, he met his future wife, Mary Elizabeth "Betsy" Maxwell, while working as the sports announcer for KCMO (AM) in Kansas City, Missouri. His broadcast name was "Walter Wilcox". He would explain later that radio stations at the time did not want people to use their real names for fear of taking their listeners with them if they left. In Kansas City, he joined the United Press International in 1937. He became one of the top American reporters in World War II, covering battles in North Africa and Europe.
In 1950, Cronkite joined CBS News in its young and growing television division, again recruited by Murrow. Cronkite began working at WTOP-TV (now WUSA), the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.. He originally served as anchor of the network's 15-minute late-Sunday-evening newscast Up To the Minute, which followed What's My Line? at 11:00 pm ET from 1951 through 1962.
From 1953 to 1957, Cronkite hosted the CBS program You Are There, which reenacted historical events, using the format of a news report. His famous last line for these programs was: "What sort of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times ... and you were there." In 1971, the show was revived and redesigned to attract an audience of teenagers and young adults, hosted again by Cronkite on Saturday mornings. In 1957, he began hosting The Twentieth Century (eventually renamed The 20th Century), a documentary series about important historical events of the century composed almost exclusively of newsreel footage and interviews. A long-running hit, the show was again renamed as The 21st Century in 1967 with Cronkite hosting speculative reporting on the future for another three years. Cronkite also hosted It's News to Me, a game show based on news events.
Another of his network assignments was The Morning Show, CBS' short-lived challenge to NBC's Today in 1954. His on-air duties included interviewing guests and chatting with a lion puppet named Charlemane about the news. He considered this discourse with a puppet as "one of the highlights" of the show. He added, "A puppet can render opinions on people and things that a human commentator would not feel free to utter. I was and I am proud of it." Cronkite also angered the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the show's sponsor, by grammatically correcting its advertising slogan. Instead of saying "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should" verbatim, he substituted "as" for "like."
Cronkite was an accomplished sailor and enjoyed sailing coastal waters of the United States in his custom-built 48-foot Sunward "WYNTJE". Cronkite was a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, with the honorary rank of commodore. Throughout the 1950s, he was an aspiring sports car racer, even racing in the 1959 12 Hours of Sebring.
On April 16, 1962, Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of the CBS's nightly feature newscast, tentatively renamed Walter Cronkite with the News, but later the CBS Evening News on September 2, 1963, when the show was expanded from 15 to 30 minutes, making Cronkite the anchor of American network television's first nightly half-hour news program. Cronkite's tenure as anchor of the CBS Evening News made him an icon in television news.
The first publicly transmitted live trans-Atlantic program was broadcast via the Telstar satellite on July 23, 1962, at 3:00 pm EDT, and Cronkite was one of the main presenters in this multinational broadcast. The broadcast was made possible in Europe by Eurovision and in North America by NBC, CBS, ABC, and the CBC. The first public broadcast featured CBS's Cronkite and NBC's Chet Huntley in New York, and the BBC's Richard Dimbleby in Brussels. Cronkite was in the New York studio at Rockefeller Plaza as the first pictures to be transmitted and received were the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The first segment included a televised major league baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. From there, the video switched first to Washington, D.C.; then to Cape Canaveral, Florida; then to Quebec City, Quebec, and finally to Stratford, Ontario. The Washington segment included a press conference with President Kennedy, talking about the price of the American dollar, which was causing concern in Europe. This broadcast inaugurated live intercontinental news coverage, which was perfected later in the sixties with Early Bird and other Intelsat satellites.
During the early part of his tenure anchoring the CBS Evening News, Cronkite competed against NBC's anchor team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, who anchored The Huntley–Brinkley Report. For much of the 1960s, The Huntley–Brinkley Report had more viewers than Cronkite's broadcast. A key moment for Cronkite came during his coverage of John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. Another factor in Cronkite and CBS' ascendancy to the top of the ratings was that, as the decade progressed, RCA made a corporate decision not to fund NBC News at the levels that CBS provided for its news broadcasts. Consequently, CBS News acquired a reputation for greater accuracy and depth in coverage. This reputation meshed well with Cronkite's wire service experience, and in 1967 the CBS Evening News began to surpass The Huntley–Brinkley Report in viewership during the summer months.
On December 10, 1963, Cronkite introduced The Beatles to the United States by airing a four-minute story about the band on CBS Evening News. This was originally broadcast on November 22, 1963, and was going to be shown again on the CBS Evening News, but the assassination of John F. Kennedy prevented the broadcast at that time.
Although it was widely reported that the term "anchor" was coined to describe Cronkite's role at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, marking the first nationally televised convention coverage, other news presenters bore the title before him. Cronkite anchored the network's coverage of the 1952 presidential election as well as later conventions. In 1964 he was temporarily replaced by the team of Robert Trout and Roger Mudd; this proved to be a mistake, and Cronkite returned to the anchor chair for future political conventions.
General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower returned to his former Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) headquarters for an interview by Cronkite on the CBS News Special Report D-Day + 20, telecast on June 6, 1964.
In mid-February 1968, on the urging of his executive producer Ernest Leiser, Cronkite and Leiser journeyed to Vietnam to cover the aftermath of the Tet Offensive. They were invited to dine with General Creighton Abrams, the commander of all forces in Vietnam, whom Cronkite knew from World War II. According to Leiser, Abrams told Cronkite, "we cannot win this Goddamned war, and we ought to find a dignified way out."
Upon return, Cronkite and Leiser wrote separate editorial reports based on that trip. Cronkite, an excellent writer, preferred Leiser's text over his own. On February 27, 1968, Cronkite closed "Report from Vietnam: Who, What, When, Where, Why?" with that editorial report:
During the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Cronkite was anchoring the CBS network coverage as violence and protests occurred outside the convention, as well as scuffles inside the convention hall. When Dan Rather was punched to the floor (on camera) by security personnel, Cronkite commented, "I think we've got a bunch of thugs here, Dan."
In 1968, the faculty of the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University voted to award Cronkite the Carr Van Anda Award "for enduring contributions to journalism." In 1970, Cronkite received a "Freedom of the Press" George Polk Award and the Paul White Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.
In 1969, during the Apollo 11 (with co-host and former astronaut Wally Schirra) and Apollo 13 Moon missions, Cronkite received the best ratings and made CBS the most-watched television network for the missions. In 1970, when Huntley retired, the CBS Evening News finally dominated the American TV news viewing audience. Although NBC finally settled on the skilled and well-respected broadcast journalist John Chancellor, Cronkite proved to be more popular and continued to be top-rated until his retirement in 1981.
Cronkite is also remembered for his coverage of the United States space program, and at times was visibly enthusiastic, rubbing his hands together on camera with a smile and uttering, "Whew...boy" on July 20, 1969, when the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission put the first men on the Moon.
In 1972, in recognition of his career, Princeton University's American Whig-Cliosophic Society awarded Cronkite the James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service.
According to the 2006 PBS documentary on Cronkite, there was "nothing new" in his reports on the Watergate affair; however, Cronkite brought together a wide range of reporting, and his credibility and status is credited by many with pushing the Watergate story to the forefront with the American public, ultimately resulting in the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon on August 9, 1974. Cronkite had anchored the CBS coverage of Nixon's address, announcing his impending resignation, the night before.
Cronkite made a cameo appearance on a 1974 episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which he met with Lou Grant in his office. Ted Baxter, who at first tried to convince Cronkite that he (Baxter) was as good a newsman as Eric Sevareid, pleaded with Cronkite to hire him for the network news, at least to give sport scores, and gave an example: "The North Stars 3, the Kings Oh!" Cronkite turned to Grant and said, "I'm gonna get you for this!" Cronkite later said that he was disappointed that his scene was filmed in one take, since he had hoped to sit down and chat with the cast.
On February 14, 1980, Cronkite announced that he intended to retire from the CBS Evening News; at the time, CBS had a policy of mandatory retirement by age 65. Although sometimes compared to a father figure or an uncle figure, in an interview about his retirement he described himself as being more like a "comfortable old shoe" to his audience. His last day in the anchor chair at the CBS Evening News was on March 6, 1981; he was succeeded the following Monday by Dan Rather.
As he had promised on his last show as anchor in 1981, Cronkite continued to broadcast occasionally as a special correspondent for CBS, CNN, and NPR into the 21st century; one such occasion was Cronkite anchoring the second space flight by John Glenn in 1998 as he had Glenn's first in 1962. In 1983, he reported on the British general election for the ITV current affairs series World In Action, interviewing, among many others, the victorious Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Cronkite hosted the annual Vienna New Year's Concert on PBS from 1985 to 2008, succeeded by Julie Andrews in 2009. For many years, until 2002, he was also the host of the annual Kennedy Center Honors.
In 1981, the year he retired, former president Jimmy Carter awarded Cronkite the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In that year, he also received the S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards, and the Paul White Award for lifetime achievement from the Radio Television Digital News Association. In 1985, Cronkite was honored with the induction into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. In 1989 he received the Four Freedoms Award for the Freedom of Speech In 1995, he received the Ischia International Journalism Award. In 1999, Cronkite received the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement's Corona Award in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in space exploration. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. On March 1, 2006, Cronkite became the first non-astronaut to receive NASA's Ambassador of Exploration Award. Among Cronkite's numerous awards were four Peabody awards for excellence in broadcasting.
Cronkite narrated the IMAX film about the Space Shuttle, The Dream is Alive, released in 1985. From May 26, 1986, to August 15, 1994, he was the narrator's voice in the EPCOT Center attraction Spaceship Earth, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. He provided the pivotal voice of Captain Neweyes in the 1993 animated film We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story, delivering his trademark line at the end. In 1995, he made an appearance on Broadway, providing the voice of the titular book in the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Cronkite was a finalist for NASA's Journalist in Space program, which mirrored the Teacher in Space Project, an opportunity that was suspended after the Challenger disaster in 1986. He recorded voice-overs for the 1995 film Apollo 13, modifying the script he was given to make it more "Cronkitian." In 2002, Cronkite was the voice of Benjamin Franklin in the educational television cartoon Liberty's Kids, which included a news segment ending with the same phrase he did back on the CBS Evening News. His distinctive voice provided the narration for the television ads of the University of Texas, Austin, his alma mater, with its 'We're Texas' ad campaign.
Between 1990 and 1993, Don Carleton, executive director for the Center for American History, assisted Cronkite as he compiled an oral history to write his autobiography, A Reporter's Life, which was published in 1996. The taped memoirs became an integral part of an eight-part television series Cronkite Remembers, which was shown on the Discovery Channel.
In the late 1980s and again in the 1990s, Cronkite appeared on the news-oriented situation comedy Murphy Brown as himself. Both episodes were written by the Emmy Award-winning team of Tom Seeley and Norm Gunzenhauser. He also continued hosting a variety of series. In the early 1980s, he was host of the documentary series World War II with Walter Cronkite. In 1991, he hosted the TV documentary Dinosaur! on A&E (not related to the documentary of the same title hosted by Christopher Reeve on CBS six years earlier), and a 1994 follow-up series, Ape Man: The Story of Human Evolution. In 1995, he narrated the World Liberty Concert held in the Netherlands.
In his book This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV, CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer, who was serving as a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram when Cronkite's editorial aired, acknowledged that Johnson did not see the original broadcast but also defended the allegation that Johnson had made the remark. According to Schieffer, Johnson's aide George Christian "told me that the President apparently saw some clips of it the next day" and that "That's when he made the remark about Cronkite. But he knew then that it would take more than Americans were willing to give it." When asked about the remark during a 1979 interview, Christian claimed he had no recollection about what the President had said. In his 1996 memoir A Reporter's Life, Cronkite claimed he was at first unsure about how much of an impact his editorial report had on Johnson's decision to drop his bid for re-election, and what eventually convinced him that the President had made the statement was Bill Moyers, fellow journalist and former aide to Johnson, telling him "The president flipped off the set and said 'If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America.'"
In 1998, Cronkite hosted the 90-minute documentary, Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, produced by the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association. The film documented Silicon Valley's rise from the origin of Stanford University to the current high-technology powerhouse. The documentary was broadcast on PBS throughout the United States and in 26 countries. Prior to 2004, he could also be seen in the opening movie "Back to Neverland" shown in the Walt Disney World attraction The Magic of Disney Animation, interviewing Robin Williams as if he is still on the CBS News channel, ending his on-camera time with Cronkite's famous catchphrase. In the feature, Cronkite describes the steps taken in the creation of an animated film, while Robin Williams becomes an animated character (and even becomes Walter Cronkite, impersonating his voice). He also was shown inviting Disney guests and tourists to the Disney Classics Theater.
In 1998, he supported President Bill Clinton during Clinton's impeachment trial. He was also a proponent of limited world government on the American federalist model, writing fundraising letters for the World Federalist Association (now Citizens for Global Solutions). In accepting the 1999 Norman Cousins Global Governance Award at the ceremony at the United Nations, Cronkite said:
On May 21, 1999, Walter Cronkite participated in a panel discussion on "Integrity in the Media" with Ben Bradlee and Mike McCurry at the Connecticut Forum in Hartford, Connecticut. Cronkite provided a particularly funny anecdote about taking a picture from a house in Houston, Texas, where a newsworthy event occurred and being praised for getting a unique photograph, only to find out later that the city desk had provided him with the wrong address.
Cronkite was a vocal advocate for free airtime for political candidates. He worked with the Alliance for Better Campaigns and Common Cause, for instance, on an unsuccessful lobbying effort to have an amendment added to the McCain-Feingold-Shays-Meehan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2001 that would have required TV broadcast companies to provide free airtime to candidates. Cronkite criticized the present system of campaign finance which allows elections to "be purchased" by special interests, and he noted that all the European democracies "provide their candidates with extensive free airtime." "In fact," Cronkite pointed out, "of all the major nations worldwide that profess to have democracies, only seven – just seven – do not offer free airtime" This put the United States on a list with Ecuador, Honduras, Malaysia, Taiwan, Tanzania, and Trinidad and Tobago. Cronkite concluded that "The failure to give free airtime for our political campaigns endangers our democracy." During the elections held in 2000, the amount spent by candidates in the major TV markets approached $1 billion. "What our campaign asks is that the television industry yield just a tiny percentage of that windfall, less than 1 percent, to fund free airtime."
He held amateur radio operator license KB2GSD and narrated a 2003 American Radio Relay League documentary explaining amateur radio's role in disaster relief. The video tells Amateur Radio's public service story to non-hams, focusing on ham radio's part in helping various agencies respond to wildfires in the Western US during 2002, ham radio in space and the role Amateur Radio plays in emergency communications. "Dozens of radio amateurs helped the police and fire departments and other emergency services maintain communications in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC," narrator Cronkite intoned in reference to ham radio's response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Unusually, Cronkite was a Novice-class licensee—the entry level license—for his entire, and long, tenure in the hobby.
In a 2003 CBS special commemorating the 40th anniversary of the assassination, Cronkite recalled his reaction upon having the death confirmed to him, he said,
In 2003, Cronkite, who owned property on Martha's Vineyard, became involved in a long-running debate over his opposition to the construction of a wind farm in that area. In his column, he repeatedly condemned President George W. Bush and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Cronkite appeared in the 2004 Robert Greenwald film Outfoxed, where he offered commentary on what he said were unethical and overtly political practices at the Fox News Channel. Cronkite remarked that when Fox News was founded by Rupert Murdoch, "it was intended to be a conservative organization – beyond that; a far-right-wing organization". In January 2006, during a press conference to promote the PBS documentary about his career, Cronkite said that he felt the same way about America's presence in Iraq as he had about their presence in Vietnam in 1968 and that he felt America should recall its troops.
In 2003, Cronkite was honored by the Vienna Philharmonic with the Franz Schalk Gold Medal, in view of his contributions to the New Year's Concert and the cultural image of Austria.
On February 15, 2005, he went into the studio at CBS to record narration for WCC Chatham Radio, a documentary about Guglielmo Marconi and his Chatham station, which became the busiest ship-to-shore wireless station in North America from 1914 to 1994. The documentary was directed by Christopher Seufert of Mooncusser Films and premiered at the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center in April 2005. In 2006, Cronkite hosted the World War One Living History Project, a program honoring America's final handful of veterans from the First World War. The program was created by Treehouse Productions and aired on NPR on November 11, 2006. In May 2009, Legacy of War, produced by PBS, was released. Cronkite chronicles, over archive footage, the events following World War II that resulted in America's rise as the dominant world power.
Cronkite appeared briefly in the 2005 dramatic documentary The American Ruling Class written by Lewis Lapham; the 2000 film Thirteen Days reporting on the Cuban Missile Crisis; and provided the opening synopsis of the American Space Program leading to the events in Apollo 13 for the 1995 Ron Howard film of the same name.
Cronkite wrote a syndicated opinion column for King Features Syndicate. In 2005 and 2006, he contributed to The Huffington Post. Cronkite was the honorary chairman of The Interfaith Alliance. In 2006, he presented the Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award to actor and activist George Clooney on behalf of his organization at its annual dinner in New York.
Cronkite was married for nearly 65 years to Mary Elizabeth 'Betsy' Maxwell Cronkite, from March 30, 1940, until her death from cancer on March 15, 2005. They had three children: Nancy Cronkite, Mary Kathleen (Kathy) Cronkite, and Walter Leland (Chip) Cronkite III (who is married to actress Deborah Rush). Cronkite dated singer Joanna Simon from 2005 to 2009. A grandson, Walter Cronkite IV, now works at CBS. Cronkite's cousin is former Mayor of Kansas City and 2008 Democratic nominee for Missouri's 6th congressional district Kay Barnes.
Referring to his coverage of Kennedy's assassination, in a 2006 TV interview with Nick Clooney, Cronkite recalled,
Prior to his death, "Uncle Walter" hosted a number of TV specials and was featured in interviews about the times and events that occurred during his career as America's "most trusted" man. In July 2006, the 90-minute documentary Walter Cronkite: Witness to History aired on PBS. The special was narrated by Katie Couric, who assumed the CBS Evening News anchor chair in September 2006. Cronkite provided the voiceover introduction to Couric's CBS Evening News, which began on September 5, 2006. Cronkite's voiceover was notably not used on introducing the broadcast reporting his funeral – no voiceover was used on this occasion.
As a newsman, Cronkite devoted his attention to the early days of the space program, and the "space race" between the United States and the Soviet Union. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration honored Cronkite on February 28, 2006. Michael Coats, director of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, presented Cronkite with the Ambassador of Exploration Award. Cronkite was the first non-astronaut thus honored.
During the final ten minutes of that broadcast, Cronkite reported on the death, giving a retrospective on the life of the nation's 36th president, and announced that CBS would air a special on Johnson later that evening. This story was re-told on a 2007 CBS-TV special honoring Cronkite's 90th birthday.
In 2008, the state-of-the-art journalism education complex in the heart of ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus was also built in his honor. The Walter Cronkite Regents Chair in Communication seats the Texas College of Communications dean.
In June 2009, Cronkite was reported to be terminally ill. He died on July 17, 2009, at his home in New York City aged 92. He is believed to have died from cerebrovascular disease. Cronkite's funeral took place on July 23, 2009, at St. Bartholomew's Church in midtown Manhattan, New York City. Among many journalists who attended were, Tom Brokaw, Connie Chung, Katie Couric, Charles Gibson, Matt Lauer, Dan Rather, Andy Rooney, Morley Safer, Diane Sawyer, Bob Schieffer, Meredith Vieira, Barbara Walters, and Brian Williams. At his funeral, his friends noted his love of music, including, recently, drumming. He was cremated and his remains buried next to his wife, Betsy, in the family plot in Kansas City.
The school, with approximately 1,700 students, is widely regarded as one of the top journalism schools in the country. It is housed in a new facility in downtown Phoenix that is equipped with 14 digital newsrooms and computer labs, two TV studios, 280 digital student work stations, the Cronkite Theater, the First Amendment Forum, and new technology. The school's students regularly finish at the top of national collegiate journalism competitions, such as the Hearst Journalism Awards program and the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards. In 2009, students won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for college print reporting.
CBS cut back to Cronkite reporting that one of the priests had administered last rites to the president. In the next few minutes, several more bulletins reporting that Kennedy had died were given to Cronkite, including one from CBS's own correspondent Dan Rather that had been reported as confirmation of Kennedy's demise by CBS Radio. As these bulletins came into the newsroom, it was becoming clearer that Kennedy had in fact lost his life. Cronkite, however, stressed that these bulletins were simply reports and not any official confirmation of the President's condition; some of his colleagues recounted in 2013 that his early career as a wire service reporter taught him to wait for official word before reporting a story. Still, as more word came in, Cronkite seemed to be resigned to the fact that it was only a matter of time before the assassination was confirmed. He appeared to concede this when, several minutes after he received the Rather report, he received word that the two priests who gave the last rites to Kennedy told reporters on the scene that he was dead. Cronkite said that report "seems to be as close to official as we can get", but would not declare it as such. Nor did he do so with a report from Washington, DC that came moments later, which said that government sources were now reporting the President was dead (this information was passed on to ABC as well, which took it as official confirmation and reported it as such; NBC did not report this information at all and chose instead to rely on reports from Charles Murphy and Robert MacNeil to confirm their suspicions).
On November 4, 2013, Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri, dedicated the Walter Cronkite Memorial. The nearly 6,000 square-foot memorial includes images, videos and memorabilia from Cronkite's life and the many events he covered as a journalist. The memorial includes a replica of the newsroom from which Cronkite broadcast the news during the 1960s and 1970s. In 2014, the Memorial received the Missouri Division of Tourism's Spotlight Award.
With his name now established, he received a job offer from Edward R. Murrow at CBS News to join the Murrow Boys team of war correspondents, relieving Bill Downs as the head of the Moscow bureau. CBS offered Cronkite $125 ($2,235 in 2020 money) a week along with "commercial fees" amounting to $25 ($447 in 2020) for almost every time Cronkite reported on air. Up to that point, he had been making $57.50 ($1,027 in 2020) per week at UP, but he had reservations about broadcasting. He initially accepted the offer. When he informed his boss Harrison Salisbury, UP countered with a raise of $17.50 ($312 in 2020) per week; Hugh Baillie also offered him an extra $20 ($357 in 2020) per week to stay. Cronkite ultimately accepted the UP offer, a move which angered Murrow and drove a wedge between them that would last for years.
Walter married Mary Elizabeth Maxwell in 1940, and the couple had three children.
Currently, Walter Cronkite is 104 years, 5 months and 15 days old. Walter Cronkite will celebrate 105th birthday on a Thursday 4th of November 2021. Below we countdown to Walter Cronkite upcoming birthday.
Google doodle celebrates Walter Cronkite's 100th birthday
Legendary newsman is remembered for objective reporting on the Vietnam War, JFK's assassination and the Apollo 11 moon landing.