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Dan Rather Biography

Birth Name:
Daniel Irvin Rather Jr.
Birth Place:
Wharton, Texas, United States
TV newscaster, author

Fast Facts

  • Began his news career selling the Houston Chronicle as an elementary-school student; he later reported for the paper from 1954 to '55
  • Was the first guest on David Letterman's late-night CBS show
  • As a correspondent for CBS News, he helped the station snag seven Peabody Awards; he has personally won more than 20 News Emmys
  • Has published numerous books, including The American Dream (2001), The Camera Never Blinks Twice: The Future Adventures of a Television Journalist (1994), The Camera Never Blinks (1977) and The Palace Guard (1974)
  • Was the inspiration for the title of R
  • E
  • M
  • 's 1994 song "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" Rather was asked that question by two men who accosted him outside his Manhattan apartment in a 1986 incident
  • Rather later sang along when the band performed the song on Letterman's show
  • Delivered his final newscast as the CBS Evening News anchor in March 2005, 24 years after taking over the position from Walter Cronkite
  • Began hosting the weekly newsmagazine Dan Rather Reports in November 2006 on HDNet
  • Voiced an animated version of himself on an episode of The Simpsons (2008) and in a 2010 Simpsons anniversary special; portrayed himself on several episodes of Dirty Sexy Money (2007, 2008)
  • Known for using folksy, colorful and humorous analogies (sometimes referred to as "Ratherisms") while delivering the news
  • One such example, from the 2004 U
  • S
  • presidential election: "Kerry's rapidly reaching the point where he's got his back to the wall, his shirttail's on fire and the bill collector's at the door
  • "


  • Donald Eugene Rather -- Brother
  • Robin Rather -- Daughter
  • Daniel Irvin Rather Sr. -- Father
  • Byrl Veda Page Rather -- Mother
  • Patricia Ann Rather -- Sister
  • Danjack Rather -- Son
  • Jean Grace Goebel Rather -- Wife