Friday, July 17, 2009

The Most Trusted Man in America...

Just saw a Reuters report that journalist Walter Cronkite, often called "the most trusted man in America," has died at the age of 92.

Born in Missouri on November 4, 1916, he moved to Houston, Texas when he was ten. His broadcast career began when he was 20 and became a radio announcer in Oklahoma. During WWII he covered North Africa and Europe, and was selected to fly on bombing raids over Germany. After the war he covered the Nuremberg Trials.

Edward R Murrow recruited him for the new CBS television division in 1950. He became the anchorman of the CBS Evening News on April 16, 1962. Hearing his voice crack when announcing the official confirmation of John Kennedy's death was a defining moment for a generation. My generation.

He was a passionate supporter of the U.S. space program and covered most of the launches for CBS. After a Cronkite editorial that called the Viet Nam war unwinnable, Lyndon Johnson reportedly said, "If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

The man was a giant. There are pretenders to his legacy, but they are self-promoting pygmies.

Below: Cronkite announces Kennedy's death.

More YouTube clips of Walter Cronkite

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