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Walter Cronkite Biography

Birth Name:
Walter Leland Cronkite Jr.
Birth Place:
St. Joseph, Missouri, United States
Broadcast journalist

Fast Facts

  • Lost an election for president of his University of Texas freshman class to a high-school friend, Joe Greenhill, who later became chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court
  • Called University of Oklahoma football games for an Oklahoma City radio station in 1937
  • As a correspondent for UPI during WWII, parachuted into the Netherlands with the 101st Airborne Division
  • Also landed in Normandy on D-day and flew on bombing missions over Germany
  • Was the first TV-news personality to be called an "anchor," when he headed CBS's coverage of the 1952 political conventions
  • Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981
  • Retired from anchoring the CBS Evening News in 1981
  • Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1985; received numerous awards for broadcast journalism, including multiple Emmys and the Alfred I
  • duPont-Columbia University Award
  • Wrote his autobiography, A Reporter's Life, in 1996
  • In 2006, was presented with the Ambassador of Exploration Award, becoming the first individual who wasn't a NASA employee or an astronaut to be honored



    • Mary Kathleen Cronkite -- Daughter
    • Nancy Elizabeth Cronkite -- Daughter
    • Walter Leland Cronkite Sr. -- Father
    • Helen Cronkite -- Mother
    • Joanna Simon -- Significant Other
    • Walter Leland Cronkite III -- Son
    • Mary Elizabeth Simmons Maxwell Cronkite -- Wife (deceased)