7 facts you may not know about Walter Cronkite
Image: AP Photo
Walter Cronkite was known for breaking news to America, whether it was good or bad. He worked in a time before editorializing was the norm, and reporters were rarely regarded as celebrities. The story was always the story at hand, not the man telling it. However, over the years, Cronkite has gone down in history as one of the greatest reporters of all time, and we've learned more about him. Here are a few facts about him that might surprise you!
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He truly started from the bottom
What’s the first step to becoming one of the biggest reporters of all time? Being a paperboy! Cronkite’s first newspaper job was selling and delivering The Kansas City Star as a child. When he and his family moved to Houston, Texas, he was editor of the school newspaper. He had known he wanted to be a journalist since he was 12, after reading about a foreign correspondent.
He didn’t have a college degree
Though there is a school of journalism named after him, Cronkite didn’t actually graduate from college. After two years of political science studies, he dropped out of the University of Texas at Austin to pursue reporting full-time.
He covered World War II
CBS wasn’t Cronkite’s first stop in the journalism world. As a United Press reporter, he covered a number of battles during World War II. Reuters reported that some of his biggest feats included parachuting into the Netherlands with the 101st Airborne Division and landing with allied troops at Normandy on D-Day. He also heavily covered the Nuremberg Trials.
Image: AP Photo
He had to report a lot of assassinations
While one of Cronkite’s most famous broadcasts was on the John F. Kennedy assassination, he also broke the news of both Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lennon being killed.
He was awarded the Ambassador of Exploration award
Despite not being an astronaut, he was given the award in 2008. In fact, he was the first non-astronaut, non-NASA employee to get it. This is because of his coverage of the Apollo 11 launch — he spent 27 of the 30 hours on air — and his overall enthusiasm for space travel.
Image: New York Times
His FBI file was destroyed
According to USA Today, the FBI had quite the record on Walter Cronkite, but they were destroyed. Since he’s died, his file was supposed to available through the Freedom of Information Act. Keep in mind, though, just because he had a file doesn’t mean he was investigated. Many celebrity files just reveal letters they wrote to FBI officials, crimes they were victims of, or investigations of extortion attempts.
He wasn’t just called “the most trusted man in America”
In 1972, an Oliver Quayle poll did a survey and found that Cronkite was more trusted than the Senate, House of Representatives, the President, Vice President and every other famous reporter. He was legitimately the most trusted man in America.
Image: AP Photo