Walter Cronkite: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

Walter Cronkite: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

This has just not been a good summer for TV celebs, and tonight, there’s another sad celeb death to report: CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, often called “the most trusted man in America,” has died in New York. Cronkite, who had suffered from cancer, was 92.

A few things you may not have known about the man who, for many, set the standard to which other journalists could, and should, aspire:

1 – Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. was born in St. Joseph, Missouri on November 4, 1916 and was raised in Kansas City and Houston, Texas. His family’s original surname was “Krankheyt.”

2 – In 1950, Cronkite was recruited into the CBS News organization by another legendary newsman, Edward R. Murrow.

3 – Cronkite’s coverage of the 1952 Republican and Democratic National Conventions led to the phrase news “anchor.”

4 – He hosted a 1951-54 game show called It’s News to Me, which quizzed contestants about current events.

5 – Cronkite made cameo appearances on TV news-themed sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Murphy Brown.

6 – He was married to his wife, Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Maxwell Cronkite, for nearly 65 years, until her March 2005 death.

7 – Cronkite’s mother lived to be 101-years-old.

8 – As a radio announcer in Kansas City early in his career, he used the name Walter Wilcox. His station, KCMO, encouraged its announcers not to use their real names because they were afraid listeners would follow the talent if they left for a new station.

9 – Arizona State University’s journalism school is named the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the newsman’s honor.

10 – Many people learned of the assassination of John F. Kennedy from the CBS News broadcast by Cronkite and then-Dallas CBS news bureau chief Dan Rather. A collection of YouTube.com clips features the entire initial coverage of the assassination by Cronkite, as he broke into the live broadcast of daytime soap As the World Turns.

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