Cronkite, Walter

▪ American journalist
in full  Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. 
born Nov. 4, 1916, St. Joseph, Mo., U.S.

      American journalist and pioneer of television news programming who was known as “the most trusted man in America.” He was the longtime anchor of CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite (1962–81), for which he reported on many of the most historic events of the latter half of the 20th century.

      In 1927 Cronkite moved with his family to Houston, where he worked on the school newspaper in both middle school and high school. He attended the University of Texas at Austin (1933–35) but left college to work for various radio stations and newspapers in the South and Midwest. In 1939 he joined the United Press (UP), and, with the entrance of the United States into World War II, he became a war correspondent. Cronkite covered the invasion of North Africa, was present on bombing runs over Germany, and landed with Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France, to cover the events of D-Day. With the conclusion of the war, he helped set up numerous UP bureaus in Europe and covered the Nürnberg trials. Before returning to the United States, he served as the bureau chief for the UP in Moscow (1946–48).

      Cronkite attracted the attention of the vice president of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS Corporation) (CBS), Edward R. Murrow (Murrow, Edward R), who hired him as a correspondent for Washington, D.C.'s CBS affiliate in 1950. Throughout the 1950s Cronkite hosted for CBS the shows You Are There, an imaginary broadcast of historical events; The Morning Show, which he cohosted with a puppet named Charlemagne; and a documentary series, The Twentieth Century. He gained prominence for his coverage of the Democratic and Republican presidential nomination conventions of 1952, 1956, and 1960. In 1962 Cronkite took over for Douglas Edwards as anchor of the CBS Evening News, which was then a 15-minute broadcast. Soon after, the show was expanded to 30 minutes, making it the first half-hour nightly news show on network television.

      From the anchor chair of the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, Cronkite reported in his calm demeanour on the most traumatic and triumphant moments of American life in the 1960s and '70s, from the assassination of U.S. Pres. John F. Kennedy (Kennedy, John F.) to the Apollo (Apollo program) Moon landing. His avuncular mien and adherence to journalistic integrity—exemplified by his sign-off line, “And that's the way it is”—endeared him to the American public, and a 1973 poll named him “the most trusted man in America.” Cronkite's influence is perhaps best illustrated through his commentary on the Vietnam War, which he delivered in 1968 upon returning from Vietnam, where he had reported on the aftermath of the Tet Offensive (Vietnam War). Departing from his usual objectivity, Cronkite declared that the war could end only in a protracted stalemate, and it was held by some that U.S. Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson (Johnson, Lyndon B.)'s decision not to run for reelection that year was a direct result of Cronkite's reporting.

      Cronkite continued in his position at CBS throughout the 1970s, reporting on the Watergate Scandal, the resignation of U.S. Pres. Richard M. Nixon (Nixon, Richard M.), and the historic peace negotiations between Egyptian Pres. Anwar el-Sādāt (Sādāt, Anwar el-) and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (Begin, Menachem). Though he resigned from the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite in 1981, Cronkite remained active in television. He hosted an extensive number of documentaries for the Public Broadcasting Service and for various cable television networks, including Cronkite Remembers (1997), a miniseries chronicling the historic occasions on which he reported. He also contributed essays for National Public Radio's All Things Considered and occasionally served as a special correspondent for CBS. Cronkite published his autobiography, A Reporter's Life, in 1996.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cronkite,Walter — Cron·kite (krŏnʹkīt), Walter. Born 1916. American news broadcaster and editor. A newspaper and wire service correspondent during World War II, he spent the majority of his career with the Columbia Broadcasting System as their nightly news anchor… …   Universalium

  • Cronkite, Walter (Leland, Jr.) — born Nov. 4, 1916, St. Joseph, Mo., U.S. U.S. journalist and television newscaster. He began his career as a reporter with the Houston Post and later worked for United Press (1939–48) and served as a war correspondent in Europe (1942–45). He… …   Universalium

  • Cronkite, Walter (Leland, Jr.) — (n. 4 nov. 1916, St. Joseph, Mo., EE.UU.). Periodista y presentador de noticias estadounidense. Comenzó su carrera como reportero en el Houston Post, trabajó en la agencia United Press (1939–48) y se desempeñó como corresponsal de guerra en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cronkite — Walter Cronkite Walter Cronkite Walter Cronkite lors du débat télévisé entre les candidats présidentiels Gerald Ford …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Walter Cronkite — Walter Cronkite, en 1997, à bord du USS Constitution. Nom de naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cronkite — am Steuerrad der USS Constitution Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (* 4. November 1916 in St. Joseph, Missouri, Vereinigte Staaten) ist ein ehemaliger US amerikanischer Fernsehjournalist und Nachrichtensprecher …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Walter — /vahl teuhr/ for 1; /wawl teuhr/ for 2, 3, n. 1. Bruno /brooh noh/, (Bruno Schlesinger), 1876 1962, German opera and symphony conductor, in U.S. after 1939. 2. Thomas Ustick /yooh stik/, 1804 87, U.S. architect. 3. a male given name. * * * (as… …   Universalium

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