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Transcript of Walter Cronkite
By: Daine Meissner
Born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, on Nov. 4th 1916.
Moved to Houston, Texas at age 10.
In High School, he edited the school newspaper.
Became a Boy Scout.
Went to college at University of Texas in Austin, in the fall of 1933.
Joined the Chi Phi fraternity.
While in college he became an editor for the Daily Texan.
Cronkite had his first experience at performance while in college when he participated in a play with Eli Wallach.
Walter dropped out of college in order to pursue a career in the media.
He started as a sports reporter for a newspaper, but eventually got a job as a broadcasting radio announcer.
He then joined the United Press to cover WW2 in 1937 and became one of the top reporters on the war.
He was then selected as one of the 8 journalists selected by the air force to fly with the Writing 69th, who flew bombing missions in the B-17 flying fortress. He even once fired a machine gun during a dogfight.
Cronkite even covered the Battle of the Bulge, and was United Press's main reporter in Moscow while covering the Nuremberg Trials.
Career at CBS
Cronkite joined CBS in 1950
Started as an anchor for the 15-minute late Sunday newscast, Up to the Minute.
He anchored the first televised broadcast of the presidential election in 1952.
1953 to 1957, he anchored the show You Are There, a news report of reenacted historical events.
Hosted the talk Pick the Winner during the 1952 and 1956 elections.
He also hosted The Morning show, which was CBS's rebuttle to NBC's Today.
Had conversations with lion puppet Charlemagne.
He said he liked this as a lion could offer insight a human could not.
Got in trouble when he grammatically correct a sponsor's slogan.
He also was lead broadcaster over the 1960 Winter Olympics after Jim McKay had a mental breakdown.
In 1962, Cronkite became lead anchor on CBS Evening News.
Anchor of first nightly half-hour news program.
Always competed with the Huntley-Brinkley Report, a NBC newscast.
His show was always below them in the ratings but started to overtake them in the late 60's when RCA cut funding to NBC and Cronkite's show began gaining reputation as the more accurate broadcast.
He covered both the Apollo 11 and 13 missions.
Finally, Hunter retired and NBC couldn't compete for ratings. Cronkite continued to be #1 until 1981 when he retired.
Interviewed General Eisenhower
Lyndon Johnson's death
Introduced the Beatles to USA
"And that's the way it is."
This is the quote used to finish his broadcasts and he always followed it with the date. He would leave it out if he finished his segment with an opinion to hold to the standards of objective journalism.
He was reported to be terminally ill in June of 2009. He died on July 17, 2009 and it is believe to have been from cerebrovascular disease. He was then cremated and buried next to his wife.
‘He brought us all those stories large and small which would come to define the 20th century. That’s why we love Walter, because in an era before blogs and e-mail, cellphones and cable, he was the news. Walter invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down.’