Walter Cronkite Dies At Age 92

Entertainment Jul. 17, 2009 AT 9:31PM
Walter Cronkite at the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 25, 2007 Walter Cronkite at the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 25, 2007 Credit: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Legendary broadcasting icon Walter Cronkite, the trusted news anchor who chronicled many of the most important events of the last century, has died at age 92.

The former CBS news anchorman, whose calm, paternal demeanor and authoritative delivery of the news set the standard for decades, had been in failing health. The cause of death was cerebral vascular disease. He leaves behind three children, Nancy and Kathy, son Walter III, and four grandchildren. His wife of 64 years, Betsy, died in 2005. Dubbed "the most trusted man in America" for his unflappability during some of the most tumultuous and exciting moments of the 20th Century, Cronkite was also affectionately known to generations of TV watchers as "Uncle Walter" during his tenure as anchorman for the CBS Evening News from 1962-1981. Born on November 4, 1916 in St. Joseph, MO., Walter Leland Cronkite Jr's destiny was forged from an early age after reading an article about the adventurous world of reporters in a boys' magazine. Kicking off his journalistic career on his high school newspaper, Cronkite's first job was as a part-time reporter at the Houston Post in the 1930s. In 1939, Cronkite traveled to Europe as a war correspondent for the United Press, where he made his name covering some of the most important events of the time including the Battle of the Bulge, the D-Day invasion and the Nuremberg Trials. Hired by CBS's Edward R. Murrow in 1950, Cronkite earned the respect of Americans for his breaking of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. His subsequent coverage of the American moon landing in 1969 further cemented his status as one of America's most respected and trusted voices. Cronkite retired in 1981 and handed over the reigns of the newscast to Dan Rather but remained a presence in Americans lives as an elder statesman and living legend of broadcasting.

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