Television Broadcast Journalist. Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, he attended two years at the University of Texas from 1933 to 1935 before dropping out in his junior year to take a job as a full time reporter with the Houston Press in Texas. He began his broadcasting career working at several radio stations throughout the Midwestern United States prior to the outbreak of hostilities in Europe. During the Second World War he took a job as a reporter with United Press International covering the war in North Africa and Europe. He was present during the D-Day invasion of France and filed eyewitness reports from United States bombing missions over Germany. Following the surrender of Germany in May 1945 he remained in Europe as a United Press correspondent covering the Nuremberg Wartime Tribunals in Bavaria, Germany against suspected Nazi war criminals. In 1950 he joined the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) News Division, working at the CBS News affiliate in Washington, DC. During the early 1950s he covered the first televised presidential convention and served as host of the popular history reenactment series "You Are There." In April 1962 he joined the CBS Evening News serving as managing editor and network news anchor for nearly twenty years before his retirement in March 1981. Known by millions of Americans affectionately as "Uncle Walter" he earned the distinction as one of America's most trusted men for his honesty and objective professionalism in covering domestic and international news events. His notable reporting accomplishments during his nearly two decade career at CBS News include: Coverage of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Vietnam War and the resignation of President Richard Nixon resulting from the Watergate political scandal. Following his retirement in 1981 he hosted the CBS science and space exploration series "Universe" and "Dinosaur" for the Public Broadcasting Corporation. He continued in the news industry appearing periodically as a news analyst and reporter for CBS, Cable News Network (CNN) and National Public Radio. His notable personal broadcasting awards and achievement include several national Emmy awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, the George Polk Journalism Award, the Alfred I. duPonte-Columbia University Award, the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting Award from Washington State University and the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award. He was also a member and past president of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and was the recipient of several honorary college degrees from Ohio State, Syracuse, Bucknell, American International College and Harvard University.
Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
Mary Elizabeth Maxwell Cronkite
1916–2005 (m. 1940)