Alas, that’s the way it is: Walter Cronkite dead at 92

You can’t explain the influence of Walter Cronkite to a high school kid today.  They don’t have any experience that begins to corroborate what you’d say.

Walter Cronkite in the last decade - Texas Parks and Wildlife photo by Richard Roberts

Walter Cronkite in the last decade - Texas Parks and Wildlife photo by Richard Roberts

Along with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley on NBC, Mr. Cronkite was among the first celebrity anchormen. In 1995, 14 years after he retired from the “CBS Evening News,” a TV Guide poll ranked him No. 1 in seven of eight categories for measuring television journalists. (He professed incomprehension that Maria Shriver beat him out in the eighth category, attractiveness.) He was so widely known that in Sweden anchormen were once called Cronkiters. (from the New York Times)

I’m saddened at the death of Cronkite.  One of the things that saddens me is that he probably could have anchored for at least a decade past when he last signed off.  Nothing against Dan Rather, at least not from me — just that Cronkite was one of a kind.  He won’t be missed by too many people alive today who never had a chance to see him work.

So, go see him work. Media Decoder has a series of YouTube pieces showing what Cronkite could do, what Cronkite did.  It’s history go see.

Other posts on Cronkite at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:

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5 Responses to Alas, that’s the way it is: Walter Cronkite dead at 92

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    You know, Mary, Cronkite was advised to get out of the broadcast business once, because he didn’t have a ‘pleasing radio voice.’

    It’s funny, now.


  2. mark says:

    When I saw various news personalities reporting Cronkite’s death and praising his work, I could not help but think “If you liked him so much, why do you merely repeat news without investigation, instead of emulating his efforts?”


  3. Mary A. says:

    As I commented once before, Walter Cronkite was a part of my growing up. My memories of family suppers included his voice with the news coming from the living room. The world was changing so much then: race to the moon, Vietnam War, protests, medical progresses, technology, and so much more. His beautiful voice will he missed. I just wish the world now had someone we could trust now as much as we trusted Walter Cronkite.


  4. mpb says:

    There wasn’t a lot on TV in the early days. But there was the “20th Century” — documentary films, mostly from WWII, presented by Walter Cronkite. That stuck with me more than any of the subsequent history classes in school.

    He was never “staged” either. Cronkite plus the other WWII era correspondents at CBS were newsmen, never news readers.

    [Roger Mudd was the proper heir to Walter. That other fella was a big mistake. I remember when Mudd, substituting for Cronkite that week, was able to relay a story of personal interest– His grandfather (?) the doctor was pardoned by Congress/President for treating a fugitive from Ford’s Theatre. ]


  5. jd2718 says:

    As a kid, Walter Cronkite was Walter Cronkite. There was no noun “anchorman” – it was him. I think I can vaguely remember that other people sat behind desks and talked, but they were all “not Walter Cronkite”

    I saw him once – we had good seats at a Yale-Harvard game – I think it was shortly after he retired. I was excited.

    No, no way to convey the special role he filled to people too young to remember. We (you history guys) should still try…



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