Journalist, Radio Broadcaster. He is best remembered for his calm and mesmerizing radio reports of the German Blitz on London, England, in 1940 and 1941. His trademark phrase, "This is London," often punctuated with the sounds of bombs and air-raid sirens, became famous overnight. Born Egbert Roscoe Murrow on the family farm near Greensboro, North Carolina, the son of Roscoe and Ethyl Murrow, he was raised as a Quaker, with a prohibition on smoking, drinking, and gambling. The Murrows moved to Blanchard, Washington, when he was six, to seek a better life in the lumber industry. He attended three universities: Leland Stanford University, the University of Washington, and Washington State College, where he graduated in 1930 with a major in Speech. During his college years, he participated in ROTC, became President of the National Student Federation, established a student travel bureau, changed his first name to Edward, and persuaded CBS to air a program called "A University of the Air," which recruited such well-known persons as Albert Einstein and German President Paul von Hindenburg for radio interviews. In 1935, he joined CBS Radio as Director of Talks and Education, and two years later, transferred to the London office, initially to arrange cultural programs. At the end of the war, he returned to New York, where he was promoted to Vice President of News Programs for CBS, and in 1949, he was elected a Director of CBS. In 1950, he traveled to Korea to report on the Korean War, and presented weekly reports on a news show called "Hear It Now." In 1952, as television began to become more available to the public, he served as moderator and Korean War reporter for the CBS television show "See It Now." His "See It Now" program highlighting Senator Joseph McCarthy earned him a Peabody Award, and is viewed as the turning point in the "Red Scare" campaign of McCarthy. The "See It Now" show also won an Emmy in 1952 for its reporting. Murrow also created "Person to Person," "Small World", and "CBS Reports," all noted for their effective news reporting. Retiring from CBS in 1961, he headed the United States Information Agency until 1964, retiring due to progressive lung cancer caused by his chain smoking. He died on his farm in Pawling, New York at the age of 57. Using television as a medium to educate and inform the public, he established a high standard of professionalism in news reporting that is often emulated by broadcasters today.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Janet Huntington Brewster Murrow