July 17, 2009

And That's The Way It Was- Goodbye Walter Cronkite

I always liked Walter Cronkite. Grew up watching him on the news.
(CNN) -- Walter Cronkite, the CBS anchorman known as "Uncle Walter" for his easygoing, measured delivery and "the most trusted man in America" for his rectitude and gravitas, has died, CBS reported Friday.

Cronkite was 92.

His career spanned much of the 20th century, as well as the first decade of the 21st. The native of St. Joseph, Missouri, broke in as a newspaper journalist while in college, switched over to radio announcing in 1935, joined the United Press wire service by the end of the decade and jumped to CBS and its nascent television news division in 1950. He also made his mark as an Internet contributor in his later years with a handful of columns for the Huffington Post.

He covered World War II's Battle of the Bulge, the Nuremberg trials, several presidential elections, moon landings, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Watergate scandal of President Richard Nixon's administration.

At times he even made news: A 1977 question to then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat about Sadat's intent to go to Israel -- at the time considered a nonstarter because of the lack of a treaty between the two countries -- received a surprising "yes" from the Egyptian leader.

Soon after, Sadat traveled to Jerusalem, a trip that eventually led to the Camp David Accords, which included a peace deal between Israel and Egypt.

At his height of influence as CBS anchorman, Cronkite's judgment was believed so important it could affect even presidents. In early 1968, after the Tet Offensive, Cronkite traveled to Vietnam and gave a critical editorial calling the Vietnam War "mired in stalemate."

Noting Cronkite's commentary, President Lyndon Johnson reportedly said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America." Johnson announced he would not seek re-election less than two months later.

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