In Memoriam

Walter Cronkite (1916-2009)

Friends, family, colleagues and admirers share their thoughts and memories of former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite.


The University was sponsoring a lecture series and he was the special guest speaker. Anyone in the packed auditorium could ask him a question. I was nervous but I stood up and asked how broadcast journalism was different today than when he first started. He answered my question in depth for the next 10 minutes. He was not only a great journalist but also a great teacher.


I remember one year Jack and Jill magazine did a series on "My father is ... " and profiled different professions. One issue was "My father is Walter Cronkite" and there was a photo of them on their sailboat on the cover. I have been looking for that magazine for years, but perhaps I didn't keep it, only the memory. vektörelmimar

Remembering a personal hero

When I went back to school in 2000, I'd narrowed my choices down to library science or journalism. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to say, "I am a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School." It is still one of the proudest accomplishments of my life, and meeting Walter, albeit briefly, is one of my happiest memories.

Growing Up With Tang -- After All, The Astronauts Drank It

He was truly THE anchor against which all others continue to be measured. Forty years ago, I was sitting in my Father’s hospital room watching the moon landing. When I think of Walter Cronkite, my first memories are of snowbound Midwestern mornings up early to watch Walter countdown the space launches.

My "Dates" With Walter

When I was a young Navy bride in 1973, I wrote a short story called "See You Tonight, Walter" based on my experiences living on my own in Southern California while my husband was serving in the So. Pacific on a Navy Destroyer. At my job with a small ad agency, I was easy prey for all the guys who were eager to tell me just what exploits my husband was having overseas, so why didn't I loosen up and have some fun, too? My response was always that I was meeting "Walter." Drinks after work? Sorry, catching up with Walter. Supper in Old Town? No, had to dine with Walter. I never elaborated. It was always such a relief to see that kindly, wise face when I'd pull up my TV tray and have a quiet supper watching Walter Cronkite. He was a solid anchor in a world run amok. It was so reassuring to see him and be told with that knowing half-smile, "And that's the way it is."

Walter Cronkite

My most palpable memories of Walter Cronkite emerge from his coverage of the chaos of the late 1960s-early 1970s American experience -- a time of American history that author Joan Didion has characterized as a period of "social hemorrhaging." I remember vividly as a teenager CBS News' coverage of the horrors of the Vietnam War and Cronkite's courageous evaluation of the Vietnam quagmire; Cronkite overseeing the coverage of the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention and the police state occurring in the streets of Chicago against Vietnam War protesters; the sadness and relentless sense of loss in watching Cronkite's coverage of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968; and in a totally different vein, the exhilaration in watching Cronkite's coverage of the first man landing on the moon. The late '60s-early '70s experience forged my world view -- politically, intellectually, creatively -- and Walter Cronkite's meticulous and humane coverage of that period has become an indelible memory.

I grew up watching Walter

I grew up watching Walter Cronkite every evening with my mother. He was the epitome of journalism excellence. When I started the Journalism and Broadcasting program at ASU it was not yet named for Mr. Cronkite, but I proudly tell people I graduated from the Walter Cronkite School.

My Tribute To Walter Cronkite And A Great Photographer

This is a piece I wrote and put on my Facebook page last Monday July 20th
I thought everyone might enjoy it.

John Romano
Broadcast Engineer
Phoenix, AZ

On this July 20th, 2009, as we observe the 40th Anniversary of Man landing on the Moon, I thought it would be fitting to pay tribute to Walter Cronkite, who passed away on July 17th at age 92.
I was 10 years old when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and I remember staying up late that night to watch on my parents' 25" Magnavox B & W Console TV as Neil Armstrong stepped off the Lunar Module (the "LEM" as it was known) a few hours after landing and utter his famous words which you all know by now. I still recall the exact time, 10:56:20 PM Eastern Time. But I think what I remember most was Uncle Walter's commentary on CBS that night. It was like Walter was in everyone's living room that night, saying exactly what was on everyone's mind. And you can relive those few moments right here in Mr. Cronkite's own words as NASA also pays tribute to Walter Cronkite :

(Follow the link to "Cronkite Remembered for coverage of Apollo Launches" then watch the video "Cronkite on Apollo 11" in Walter's own words, as he recalled it years later during an interview.)

My Dad knew Walter Cronkite. As a publicity photographer for the CBS Television Network during the Golden Age of Television, my Dad, Emil Romano, photographed many of the CBS News people and celebrities over a period of 32 years, from 1950 to 1982. My Dad passed away in 1996, but I do recall one of his most exciting (and most nerve-wracking), moments was getting the assignment to photograph Walter Cronkite for his official CBS publicity portrait. It was June 1977, and both my Dad and Mr. Cronkite were in the twilight of their careers. My Dad prepared for this momentous event for a week in the small portrait studio next door to "Black Rock", CBS Headquarters at 51 W. 52nd St. in N.Y.C. He positioned all the lights and umbrellas and reflectors over and over so as to make it real easy for Mr. Cronkite to come in, sit down, and "get it done" in just a few short moments. Well, Mr. Cronkite arrived that day by himself, and immediately put my Dad at ease, even knowing my Dad's first name. My Dad was amazed by this and asked Mr. Cronkite how he knew his name and Walter said "Oh come on Emil, I've seen you hundreds of times around the studios taking pictures over the years. I make it my business to know all the people around me who work with me." And that was just how Walter Cronkite was in real life, as down to earth as your best friend or next door neighbor. Well, my Dad crouched next to his 8 X 10 inch film Deardoff studio camera, and deftly snapped off a few sheets of film with some clicks of the shutter cable release (that's 8 inch by 10 inch FILM, btw), with Cronkite smiling and cracking jokes all the while. My Dad loved to tell this story for years afterward.

The final portrait ended up being Walter Cronkite's official publicity picture for 10 years afterward, even years past Mr. Cronkite's retirement in 1981. Whenever a newspaper or magazine anywhere on this earth requested of CBS a picture of Walter Cronkite, this is the picture they would get. And all because Walter Cronkite himself personally approved this photo and no other for that 10 year period. And here is my Dad's own copy of that picture, which Walter signed in the bottom left corner, "For Emil, Who can make even me look good ! Walter Cronkite".

And I also show a picture of my Dad, Emil S. Romano, behind his 8 X 10 Deardoff portrait camera, as he must have looked from Walter Cronkite's perspective that day in June, 1977 in that CBS studio in New York. God Bless you, Walter Cronkite, and God Bless you, Dad !

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So I will add a link to the 2 photos which I reference above in my essay:


Walter Cronkite at Southern Connecticut State University

I always admired Walter Cronkite's honesty and dedication as a news journalist. I was lucky enough to see him at Southern Connecticut State University in April of 2000. The University was sponsoring a lecture series and he was the special guest speaker. Anyone in the packed auditorium could ask him a question. I was nervous but I stood up and asked how broadcast journalism was different today than when he first started. He answered my question in depth for the next 10 minutes. He was not only a great journalist but also a great teacher.

Walter - was there when I was both young... and old...

I am here for one reason

The lessons that Walter Cronkite presented as a journalist touched me as they did the other in the field around me. My other inspiration was the person that hired Walter, who was Edward R. Murrow.

When presented with a dilemma.... "what would Cronkite do?" or "What would Murrow do?" floats though my mind... By using this as a guide I feel I have done well.

Before I was a journalist, I was a kid going to school and Walter presented excellent history lessons with the "You Are There" Television shows. We also saw them in film form in history classes.

Walter's words "All things are as they were then, except... You Are There" echo though my mind when I think back on the presentations, and truly.... you felt you were there.

As I said previously I am here for one reason... To say... Thanks Walter... for everything... I am here to say goodbye...

Ed Sharpe, Publisher/Manager Glendale daily Planet / KKAT-IPTV
and my other hat as a historian
Ed Sharpe, Director / Lead Archivist for SMECC

Cronkite impact

Like many, my memories of Walter Cronkite come from a distance, since I wasn't fortunate enough to work with him. But when I was young, with fresh thoughts of a media career budding in my heart, I clearly remember the master choking up as Armstrong stepped on the moon--perfectly capturing many of our thoughts with his own, "Wow," which he later mocked in his classic self-deprecation.

After graduation from undergrad school, I remember focusing so intently on his last convention coverage, knowing full-well that an era was passing, and recalling how much I would miss him in my lonely first apartment far from my roots.

Like many, many others, I watched his final broadcast, and again, he didn't allow his own important departure to upstage his place at the news desk.

None of these are unique recollections, I know, but his passing drove home anew how very, very different he was from the ratings-seeking egotism that dominates his field today (if "his field" actually exists). He proved that excellence of person and profession could dominate ratings without captitulating to them, and his lasting impression is much more than mere ogling over a legend because he was more than someone who motivated a career. He literally changed the world, mine included.

Anyone for Tennis

Sometime before Doug Anderson left ASU he called me on a Saturday evening. He was at a Phoenix Suns game with Walter and asked if I could play tennis with Walter on Sunday morning. It was difficult hearing Doug because of all the commotion at the game so he put Walter on the phone. I had no trouble hearing that voice. We decided to play doubles at the Tempe Racquet Club where I was a member. I didn't think I would have any difficulty getting a court. Walter was going to play with his nephew and I needed to find a fourth person to play. I called my friend Jerry Vaughn.

I picked up Walter and his nephew at their hotel. I was surprised that his nephew was older than Walter. We arrived at the Club and got out of my little Honda. His nephew, Bob, struggled to get out of the car. He was over six feet tall and seemed to be having leg problems. As he got out of the car Walter said to him, "Bob, I hope you play tennis better than you get out of cars."

We entered the Club and found out there were no courts available. I was embarrassed. I talked to the Manager and said we were playing with Walter Cronkite. He said we would have to get a court from the tournament director. When I told the director who our guest was he was delighted. It was a Seniors Tournament and if I could get a picture with Walter for their magazine he would get a court for us. Walter graciously agreed. It was good to have Walter as a friend!

I played the first set with my friend Jerry and we won. The second set I played with Walter's nephew. Bob couldn't move very well but if the ball came anywhere near him he could put it away. It was obvious that Bob could play tennis much better than he could get out of cars. Bob and I won and I thought it was time to leave because Walter had another appointment. I was wrong. Walter insisted on playing another set with me as his partner. Fortunately we won. I believe to this day we were going to play tennis until Walter won a set. He wasn't leaving without winning.

It was a morning for me to remember. We all knew Walter was a gentleman but I also found out he was a fierce competitor even when playing tennis.

Bob Ellis
Professor Emeritus
Walter Cronkite School


Article thanks you so much.

Still, I was very intimidated

Still, I was very intimidated when I received a call from his office. Walter would be in Phoenix on a certain day and I was asked if I would have time to join him for lunch at the Phoenician. At that time I was chair of a search committee for a new director for the school and Walter was very interested in the process. Prior to the meeting I was a bit apprehensive of my ability to make small talk with “America’s most trusted person.” But within minutes Walter had made my very comfortable and I felt as though these lunches were the most normal thing in the world. Incidentally, among other topics we talked building setbacks in Manhattan – a civic project in which he was very involved at that time. He was a man of many and varied interests.
I never dreamed that someday I would meet a person as influential as Walter Cronkite. I was very much in awe of him when he first visited Arizona State University in the mid 1980s. One condition that he had insisted on when he gave his name to our school was that he wanted to have as much contact with students as possible. Classes that I taught were often the forums in which he could talk with students and answer their questions on a very informal basis. Walter, because of his sincerity, friendliness, and midwestern down-to-earth mannerisms soon became every student’s favorite uncle.

The Cronkite Legacy & the Future

I hope people aren't tired of reading about Walter Cronkite's impact on generations of journalists, because journalists present and future should look to him, recognizing his personification of honor, duty and hope, as we shoulder our responsibilities. In these times, when media is in trouble financially and too many people, in my opinion, suffice with a shallow exposure to a complex world, it's a blessing we have someone of Cronkite's stature to remind us of the need to stay informed. And for journalists to have Cronkite as a template to do it by making a difference.

My ASU colleague Aaron Brown wrote a Daily Beast piece called, "We All Followed His Script," recognizing Walter's impact on his desire to devote himself to a career in journalism. More than my own, I vividly recall my parents' reactions to Walter's chronicling of huge history like JFK's death and the moon landing. Looking back I think it had a huge impact on my desire to pursue a career in journalism and, at the core, a commitment to truth and helping people understand important events and issues.

The pride I take and the fervor with which I embrace my responsibility is why I recently joined a LinkedIn group called Journalists For Life -- "once a journalist, always a journalist." Even after Walter retired from the helm of CBS News, he remained a journalist, by example. And an exemplar one. By caring about events around him and across the world.

Who wouldn't want to have such a legacy?

These days, I direct a program called News21, an alliance of 12 graduate journalism programs headquartered at ASU's Cronkite School. Our responsibility is to tell compelling journalistic stories, just as Walter did, but in new ways. With his devotion and professionalism as our guiding light, we're inspired by the Cronkite legacy, now and in the future. And after a summer of observing these young people embrace their responsibility, I think Uncle Walter is pleased by his impact on yet another generation.

Jody Brannon
National Director, News21
ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Posted from Washington, D.C.

Walter Cronkite's Knees

About 40 years ago when I was promotion manager of the Buffalo, New York CBS-TV affiliate WBEN-TV, Walter Cronkite exhibited his unique style, grace, compassion and sense of humor when he answered a letter we had forwarded from a viewer who wondered if he had knees.

He closed this CBS Evening News edition by saying that he was not anchored to his desk, walked in front of the cameras, lifted his pant legs and said, "And that's the way it is."

Years later, I met Walter in Phoenix and he remembered the incident vividly while smiling his unique smile.

He was delighted to help the Walter Cronkite School of Broadcast Journalism
flourish. He was indeed America's 'most trusted man'.

Marvin Freeman

I remember being a freshman

I remember being a freshman in the Cronkite Village Living and Learning Community at McClintock residential hall on campus. It felt special to be a part of such a great program. My fellow villagers and I were thrilled to find out we were going to meet Mr. Cronkite in the Spring '07 semester. Walking up to shake his hand, I could tell he was a little set back by my pink hair, tattoos, and piercings, but seeing the smile on his face as he looked at all of us wearing our Cronkite Village shirts made me feel accepted and honored to be in his presence.

Interviewing a legend

My senior year at ASU (fall 97) I was the Admin reporter for The State Press. Through a series of events surrounding my coverage of the Campaign for Leadership endowment I was offered the chance to interview Walter Cronkite. It may have been the first interview he had done for The State Press or it was at the very least the first in a long time (I don’t remember). I remember being extremely nervous and thinking “wow I am about to hit the highlight of my career and it has not even really started yet.” I met him in then president Latte Coor’s office and we sat for about 45 minutes. He could not have been a nicer man. He was kind and funny and even a little self-deprecating. It was a great experience and truly was one of the highlights of my career in journalism. He is the standard by which we are all judged and the world has lost one of it’s last great worldly men.

A man of integrity

Having grown up on a somewhat remote farm in the Midwest the world that television eventually brought into our living room was awe inspiring and peopled with icons much larger than life. Walter Cronkite was an early television visitor in our home as host of the program “You Are There.” Later we received an education in the political process when Cronkite “anchored” the political conventions. Of course we all remember where we were on the day that President Kennedy was shot. I was in college and the landlady of my rooming house hurriedly invited us to her apartment to “watch what was happening on TV.” From that day on Walter Cronkite was my source for the news.

I, like most of America, was fascinated by the space race. Cronkite, in his coverage, explained all the scientific and technical details required of putting a man on the moon. He told me in terms that even I, with my liberal arts degree, could understand. And his emotional response when man actually stepped on the moon was one that resonated with me. I personally felt the magnitude of that achievement. His hour-by-hour coverage of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission put human faces on the sacrifices that had been made.

I never dreamed that someday I would meet a person as influential as Walter Cronkite. I was very much in awe of him when he first visited Arizona State University in the mid 1980s. One condition that he had insisted on when he gave his name to our school was that he wanted to have as much contact with students as possible. Classes that I taught were often the forums in which he could talk with students and answer their questions on a very informal basis. Walter, because of his sincerity, friendliness, and midwestern down-to-earth mannerisms soon became every student’s favorite uncle.

Still, I was very intimidated when I received a call from his office. Walter would be in Phoenix on a certain day and I was asked if I would have time to join him for lunch at the Phoenician. At that time I was chair of a search committee for a new director for the school and Walter was very interested in the process. Prior to the meeting I was a bit apprehensive of my ability to make small talk with “America’s most trusted person.” But within minutes Walter had made my very comfortable and I felt as though these lunches were the most normal thing in the world. Incidentally, among other topics we talked building setbacks in Manhattan – a civic project in which he was very involved at that time. He was a man of many and varied interests.

Many years after the 1969 moon landing I was with a group of friends sitting on the beach at Kino Bay in Mexico enjoying the moonlight reflecting on the surface of the water. One person inquired if I really believed that men had actually stepped on the surface of the moon -- perhaps it was all just a big hoax. My answer was quick. Of course it was real. I was there with Walter Cronkite when it happened. Walter always checked his facts carefully and then told me the unvarnished truth. Cronkite’s integrity was his most important attribute and he guarded it carefully. Walter Cronkite earned his title as “the most trusted man in America.” He will be missed, but his principles will live on through his students.

Jack and Jill Magazine

I remember one year Jack and Jill magazine did a series on "My father is ... " and profiled different professions. One issue was "My father is Walter Cronkite" and there was a photo of them on their sailboat on the cover. I have been looking for that magazine for years, but perhaps I didn't keep it, only the memory.

Meeting Walter for the first time

I had only been with the Arizona Broadcasters Association a few months before my first Cronkite luncheon in 1989. What a great opportunity to be able to come face-to-face with the most famous broadcast news anchor of our generation! When I approached him and shook hands as soon as he spoke and made direct eye contact I knew instantly he was who I thought he was! Walter Cronkite was the real deal - the man of honesty and integrity we all beleived! What a moment and what a blessing to be able to meet and greet this sincere man for the past 20 years and to sit on the board and serve within the school that bears his great name.

Cronkite and "You Are There"

As a pre-teen and teenager, my favorite program was “You Are There.” I first heard the radio version with John Daly; then later I viewed the television version with Walter Cronkite. Cronkite introduced each episode with a wonderful solemnity that told the viewer, “Pay attention. This is serious stuff.” I loved every minute of it.

A few years later, I located a 16mm print of a “You Are There” episode for the seventh grade social studies class that was my first teaching assignment. I can still hear Cronkite’s memorable introduction: “399 B.C., The Death of Socrates, All things are as they were then, except… You Are There.” The film was a wonderful teaching tool, made all the more effective because of Cronkite’s opening and closing statements.

Of course, I remember so many historic news events that I associate with Walter Cronkite – the Kennedy assassination, the Chicago Democratic Convention, Watergate, the moon walk. But I also recall the day Cronkite transported my entire class to ancient Greece. It was a magic moment.

Incidentally, Sidney Lumet directed the episode and the cast (all wearing togas) included John Cassavetes, Richard Kiley, E. G. Marshall, and a young Paul Newman.

Cronkite's closing "signature"

re: Walter Cronkite's classic closing "signature":

During his last decade as anchor (1970s) I wrote to him lamenting that despite his lectures and articles about TV news' fragmentary brevity, his closing words 'And that's the way it is" contradicted himself--implying that the 23-min news summary was the total story and all that viewers needed to know about a complex world of events. I suggested he use the phrasing from his late-night newscast from Cairo amid tangled negotiations among mideast principals when he closed with "and that's the way it seems..." He wrote back graciously but didn't take up the suggestion. Again, in 1976 while a I was a consultant to the president of CBS Inc I spoke briefly with Cronkite at a reception about the same observation, suggesting that he would better represent TV's challenging role with a slight variation: "And that's the way it looks..."--literally in your TV screen, figuratively to professional journalists, to liberal networks, or a whole range of interpretations. Warmly smiling he passed on the thought. A year later in a letter to CBSNews president Richard Salant on another matter, I added my thoughts above. He responded by writing "Amen" to my comment, noting that he had argued the point with Walter for years but "I have not been able to convince him and am reluctant to order him". Over a decade later, after he had retired, Cronkite was quoted in a long interview with USA Today that his superior Dick Salant had objected to his closing wording and that now, looking back after ending his career, he finally tended to agree with him that the phrasing was not apt.

The highlight of my career

Being in my mid 50's, I grew up watching Walter on KOOL, Channel 10 in Phoenix. I was fortunate enough to meet Walter at the CSJ groundbreaking ceremony for the new building (I oversaw the construction of the new building for the design / build team). I also got to spend 15 minutes talking to him one-on-one immediately after the groundbreaking. We talked a lot about various things but focused in on the space program. Walter said to me "Those were magnificent times". For me, it was a magnificent time meeting him. Godspeed Walter.

The King of TV Evening News Will Always Inspire Us

Walter's amazing journalism journey and legacy will forever live in the many hearts he has touched through the decades, especially those of us who looked forward to seeing him in his annual trips to the Cronkite School. His visits to the Cronkite School to meet with faculty, staff and students truly will be missed. I will always remember his wit, intellect and grace. Whether visiting my undergraduate or graduate classes, Walter truly enjoyed his interaction with students and loved responding to their questions and concerns about all aspects of the news business. Walter's class visits reflected that he always was able to connect with students and to relate to what was going on in their young lives. My students discussed his comments for weeks after his visit with us. Students viewed his talks with them as absolutely awesome!

Walter also never seemed bothered by the many requests to take photos of him or with him or those wanting his autograph. What I greatly admired about Walter besides his huge news talent in covering many decades of American social and political history, is that he was in many ways a very humble man. He was very unassuming and seemed to dismiss notions of being at celebrity status. His unforgettable mustache, throaty chuckle, easy-going smile, as well as the brief chats here and there I was blessed to have with him, are forever memorable. In my mind, he's "the king of television evening news." Walter indeed defined journalism integrity and professionalism at the highest level -- which makes him one of a kind, which makes me simply say: "Thank you Walter."

If Cronkite said it was a story, it was

If Walter Cronkite Said It Was A Story, It Was
by Alicia C. Shepard, July 20, 2009 · Most of the media credit for the revelations that led to President Nixon's resignation in 1974 falls to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post. But it was CBS's Walter Cronkite who made Watergate a national story in fall 1972.

Nixon campaign operatives broke into the Democratic headquarters inside the Watergate building on June 17, 1972. The Washington Post and others jumped on the story initially but it still didn't have much traction four months later. A Gallup poll in October 1972 showed that 48 percent of the country did not recognize the word Watergate.

But that all changed after Cronkite decided it was a story.

One reason other reporters didn't pick up the story was that it was complicated. It was difficult to follow a Woodward-Bernstein story because the reporters often relied on anonymous sources. And there were few documents to show viewers and few people to interview on camera — with the exception of White House officials happily going on camera to disparage the young Post reporters.

But Cronkite sensed there was something more to the story than a third-rate burglary. He pleaded with the Post to share their documents as tangible proof.

"For the first time in a long time in major American journalism there were not documents," former Post managing editor Howard Simons said in an interview at the University of Texas in Austin, where the Woodward-Bernstein papers are held. "This was just gumshoeing, classic journalism. CBS wanted to photograph the documents for its stories. But there were none. What we decided was, we wouldn't tell CBS we didn't have documents. We'd let them think we had documents."

CBS went ahead with the story anyway. The ground-breaking, two-part special ran on Oct. 27 and 31, 1972. These two stories were a turning point for the saga that would grip the nation for most of the next two years.

Cronkite's first piece ran for nearly 15 minutes in a 22-minute broadcast — the unprecedented equivalent of a newspaper turning two-thirds of its front page over to one story.

The second story was truncated to 9 minutes after the Nixon White House pressured CBS brass, claiming the first story wasn't fair — especially in light of the November presidential election when Nixon was running against George McGovern.

Cronkite brought the story to a national audience — even without documents. But having watched all 24 minutes in 2006, I can safely say that CBS would never run that story today. Frankly, it was far too complicated — and even boring. It was difficult to figure out what Cronkite was talking about.

But it didn't matter. America's most trusted newsman said Watergate was a story the nation should be interested it — and therefore it was.

Alicia Shepard is the author of Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate

Cruising with Cronkite

As a university professor in California, I first met Walter in the late 1970s during a summer media conference at the University of Texas, Austin. Walter was one of the conference special guests and, luckily, I happened to be next to him during a social event cruise on Lake Austin. We were outside on the upper deck of our little sternwheel riverboat and, when he found out that I grew up in Kansas City where he had lived as a child, he spent several minutes sharing anecdotes about his early career as a sports announcer on a local KC radio station (which is where, I learned later, he met Betsy).

Our discussion wandered to topics of: sailing (since I was now from California we compared the relative merits of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for sailing and surfing. As I recall our conversation, Walter, with his unique tongue-in-cheek humor, thought surfing should stay on the West Coast and leave the Atlantic Ocean for the more pure activity of sailing!); the Vietnam War (still a vital issue at that time); and the role of education for reporters. I remember vividly his concern about the developing specialization of "journalism education" and his expressed hope that future students of journalism would take advantage of as wide a "liberal education" as possible.

During his visits to the ASU campus and the Cronkite School I occasionally had a chance to say a brief hello to Walter and recall those Lake Austin chats. I was always amazed that he remembered the conference and that specific Lake Austin cruise, especially our chuckles about our sailing-surfing analysis. I cherish that experience and the memory of having had a few personal moments with Walter Cronkite at the peak of his professional career.

Dave Natharius, Adjunct Professor
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

"We'll Never Cut YOU Off, Sir!"


This was my irrational reaction when I got the inevitable news of the death of our School’s beloved namesake.

Perhaps it’s not so irrational: The larger-than-life presence of this powerful but gentlemanly media giant actually does remain alive in our private memories and public memorials because he meant so much not only to our profession but also (and more important) to the countless lives he touched and made better around the world--including those who weren’t yet born when Mr. Cronkite was not merely the most trusted NEWSCASTER in America but rather our nation’s most trusted MAN.

That famous title is amazing but not surprising. He earned it. He worked long and hard to give us a realistic and honest view of the world—even and especially when “the way it is” wasn’t easy to acknowledge. It’s important to remember that his network didn’t always support his views. Like his own mentor and model, Edward R Murrow, he had to fight for what he believed was right.

Long after he left that anchor/managing editor desk, Mr. Cronkite remained realistic and honest—frequently espousing less popular views that became popular because of his deserved (i.e., earned) credibility. He even lovingly chided and strongly criticized the media when he believed it necessary. He espoused the importance of media literacy for all ages.

And over the years he generously and graciously shared those views with thousands of ASU students from all majors in my Cronkite School media literacy classes.

Because my media literacy classes enroll hundreds of students each term and because I hosted my own nighttime TV talk show with celebrities and superstars before I joined the faculty, I always ran Mr. Cronkite’s visits to my classroom in talk show format: I’d ask him a few general questions to cover some of the key topics I wanted my students to learn in our limited time with this national treasure, and then I’d throw it open for the most valuable questions--those from my students (some of whom would bring their excited parents). When his assistant would signal it was time for him to depart, he’d invariably wink at me or squeeze my hand and announce that he could “stay a little a longer” to answer a few more of my eager students’ questions. Most of these young people weren’t born when Mr. Cronkite was doing the nightly news, but they spoke of his visit as an educational experience they’d remember for the rest of their lives.

For me, all of Mr. Cronkite’s visits to my classroom and our private faculty sessions hold cherished memories. (Incidentally, I’ve never been star-struck—having interviewed celebrities and superstars since my childhood, as a newspaper journalist and later on my TV show, but somehow I could never bring myself to call this living legend of my own profession “Walter,” despite his repeated warm invitations to do so over the years. He will always be “Mr. Cronkite.”)

However, one little exchange he and I had now strikes me as the most poignant. I just re-watched the video of it. It was the time the Cronkite School opened his visit to my class to students in other classes and to the public, who overflowed the KAET-TV studios. As usual, I posed a few of my own questions to Mr. Cronkite before calling for questions from the audience. After giving a long but wonderfully in-depth response to which the audience and I were rapt (the type of explanations that are all too rare amid today’s more typical sound-bites and tweets), he looked at me and said with a smile, “I think that answers your question.”

“Beautifully,” I said.

“Much longer than you wanted,” he added apologetically, a twinkle in those no longer clear blue but still piercing eyes.

“We’ll never cut YOU off, sir,” I assured him, touching his arm.

I’m honored and grateful that I have videos of that extended response and others from some of Mr. Cronkite’s visits to my media literacy classes. I’ve screened them for my recent classes he didn’t visit and will share them with future students. And I’m grateful that journalists and media consumers will have always his matchless model for inspiration and instruction.

We’re all truly blessed: Because we’ll “never cut him off,” Mr. Cronkite can and should remain forever alive within us.


I first met Walter in my

I first met Walter in my professional career when I worked at KIRO-TV, Seattle. He was paraded through the station hallways and we all stuck our heads out the studio doors to see him and say hello. KIRO was always sending Walter news feeds from the Pacific Northwest. He’d call wanting film on something like Mount St. Helens and we’d feed it to him. I remember after watching his newscast some evenings, we’d sit around the studio talking and wondering, where he stood on issues and about his personal political orientation, none of us ever knew. He gave us the news we needed to know, not his opinion. It was not until I joined the Cronkite School faculty that I learned about him as a person and my admiration grew. Walter made regular appearances my classes for the last ten+years. I remember how nervous I was to be on the stage withg him. Students would get one or two questions in and then they’d get the history of the world. He really did have a genuine interest in students. Never once did he play the role of the elitist or the network star. He talked with them, shared with them, and I think you could say he was learning from them as well as teaching them. He would stay after class letting them take pictures and signing their textbooks as well as his autobiography. The architecture students would file into the Neeb Hall auditorium, as Walter’s visit always went over time, but their professor was kind enough to allow us all the time we needed, which was generally his whole class period. Walter was always smiling, always willing to help, even cutting a promotion for our “Southwinds” program, the first Cronkite School student newscast. He loved our students and they idolized him.

A Truly Good Guy

It was a great honor for me to receive the Walter Cronkite Award in 2005, but it was an even greater honor to meet Mr. Cronkite, and to spend time with him before the luncheon. He was easygoing, gracious and -- especially considering his fame -- astonishingly self-effacing. I very much enjoyed talking with him, and was sorry to hear of his passing. I hope his loved ones are doing OK.

Remembering Walter

My earliest remembrances of Walter Cronkite was during the Iran hostage crisis. I remember my parents were always tuning in to Walter for the nightly news. Of course, being a kid I didn't have the appreciation or awareness the effect Walter had on the journalism industry. It wasn't until listening to other journalists that I got sense of what Walter meant to journalism. After joining the school, I was able to meet Walter a few times. He was a very passionate, generous and caring person. During Walter's visits to the school, he would meet with students. These sessions and talks with students would energize Walter. He got so much enjoyment and pleasure talking and sharing experiences with students. I feel proud to be working at the school that bears his name and values. He will be missed.

one of the most generous, good-natured people

I relied on Walter's great generosity to complete a number of publishing projects including the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TV NEWS and THE POLITICAL PERFORMERS: CBS BROADCASTS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. He was one of the most generous and good-natured people I've ever met. It's cliche to say that he will be missed. He has been sorely missed since his retirement from CBS News. Additional comments about him and his impact appear in my article on the "Commentary" page of this morning's ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH (10-21-09).

Remembering Walter Cronkite

For many years as a television reporter I always winced a bit when given the assignment now and then to interview another journalist. I wanted to be the one breaking the story, not talking to those who already had. It never made a lot of sense to me.

But of course that wasn't the case in Washington DC some 10 years ago when assigned to interview Walter Cronkite for a WUSA-TV (CBS) anniversary special. Now all of a sudden I wasn't skeptical or jaded, but actaully a bit nervous for the first time in several years. I clearly remember sitting down with Walter for a wonderful conversation in the Annapolis home of a close friend of his. He had just returned from sailing. Certainly curious, I did my best to be thoughtful and insigtful as well as we talked about his early days in Washington. You simply don't want to let the man down!

At the time I had no idea I'd one day become the news director and a professor of practice at the Cronkite School. I even receive a letter from Walter welcoming me to the school after I accepted the job. I would meet Mr. Cronkite a couple more times here at Arizona State and would remind him of our "conversation" in Annapolis several years ago. He was polite enough to act as if he remembered it as well.

Very proud to be working at the Cronkite School, I once again I find myself feeling (perhaps like other faculty, staff and students) that I just don't want to let Walter down in the years ahead.

Mark Lodato
News Director
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite was a fixture at my home growing up. We always ate dinner with Walter. From him, I learned the importance of knowing about current events which is probably why I became the news junkie I am today.

Uncle Walter's passing

As a graduate student at the Cronkite School of Journalism I had the pleasure of meeting Walter twice. It's the kind of opportunity most 21-year-old journalists don't get and I have never forgotten it. He was truly a giant whose legacy leaves us all with giant shoes to fill.

To read all these posts is to

To read all these posts is to understand how many lives Walter personally touched. This is a piece I wrote for the Daily Beast.

Aaron Brown
Walter Cronkite Professor of Journalism
Arizona State University

Generous with his time...

I consider myself fortunate to have met Walter Cronkite. It was at a social afterparty for a Hospice regatta/fundraiser in Annapolis, MD. There were hundreds of attendees, a silent auction, etc., on a beautiful hillside overlooking the Severn River. There was a long line to meet Mr. Cronkite and I had relatively little to say which I would consider of value or interest for such an esteemed and worldly man. I was hoping for a handshake and a hello. Mr Cronkite spent a full 3 minutes with me, asking questions to draw me out, and thanking me for my time. He made me feel significant. And afterwards as I watched, he made everyone else important and significant as well. He spent a couple of hours performing this gift to promote Hospice, and sharing with those who met him the knowledge to make others important and significant. RIP Walter Cronkite.

Higher calling: Be like Walter Cronkite

My late mother-in-law was always proud of my career as a newspaper reporter, but on a few occasions over the years she urged me to consider a higher calling: "You should be a journalist like Walter Cronkite." I wish she had lived at least until November 1996, during my first semester on the faculty of the school that bears his name, when I first met Walter in person. As a reporter, I had met and interviewed many famous people, but I was awed to be in the same room as the icon who had told me "the way it is" each evening as I grew up. Unlike so many other self-important household names I have met over the years, Walter was invariably warm, engaging and self-effacing. Each time we met ever since, we always talked about our shared interest in sailing. Our deepest shared interest, though, was our core belief in the worth and power of objective journalism. I'm proud to be part of a school that embraces his ideals so thoroughly as we teach our students to "be a journalist like Walter Cronkite."

Walter touched everyone

Walter made time for everyone; he exemplified the best qualities one could aspire to achieve--respect, class and friendliness. When in his presence, any nervous or uneasy feelings would be quickly dissipated by his smile, and a happy greeting. His recollections engaged and entertained all who listened. He enjoyed discussing his favorite subjects world history, the space program and his love for sailing. He sampled so many aspects of life its no wonder everyone that met Walter Cronkite was mesmerized with his interesting stories.

Toasting a drink at dinner unveiled Walter’s humorous side - one that many witnessed - and a good joke was always “standing by.” He found great pleasure in life and lived it to the fullest. Playing tennis into his 80’s and conducted the New Year's Day Vienna Philharmonic in his 90’s are just a few examples of his passion for life.

Walter loved the Cronkite School and genuinely cared about the quality of education his students received. The faculty, staff and most importantly, future journalists of the Cronkite School were inspired by comments and recommendations during his yearly visits to ASU. Walter shaped the anchor position in broadcast journalism and molded it with journalism’s finest qualities.

I am honored and privileged to have known him for so many years and selfishly wish it could have been many more…I will miss him dearly.

Walter's Passing

Accepting a job in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication seemed like a smart career move. Little did I know that I would actually get to meet the legendary Walter Cronkite. You mean he actually comes to AZ each year?!? What I remember about his annual visits was how interested he was in meeting the students and talking to them. Every year I was impressed that he traveled that far and cared that much. I'm sorry he never got to see our new building because I think he would have loved it. Every time I see his signature sign-off, "And that's the way it is", that's painted on one of the walls I think about him. I think about his integrity and it reminds me to strive for the same integrity in my life and work. I can only hope that the students coming and going each day strive for the same thing.

A model of classic American values and virtues

I was a kid in the 70s, so I'm fortunate enough to have grown up in the era when Walter Cronkite was still bringing us the evening news. Times sure seemed simpler back then, and it was a lot easier to tell the good guys from the bad guys. There was never any question that Mr. Cronkite was one of the good guys. Looking back on it now, he truly embodied the best of American virtues. He had, yes -- empathy. But he was nobody's fool. He faithfully presented the facts, knowing that Americans were smart enough to draw their own conclusions. He didn't need to tell us what to think. And it was obvious from the seriousness with which he practiced his profession that he regarded his job as a vital service to the American people.

How different are so many of our news broadcasts today. Cronkite was never preachy, self-indulgent, or corrupted by commercial or political interests. He remained true to what really mattered: the American people -- all of us, as a whole. Not just particular factions, but everyone.

As I've heard many point out over the years, the media is the only profession expressly referred to and protected by the U.S. Constitution. It's that important. And when Walter Cronkite spoke, you felt that.

I was also very pleased to have been able to meet him while I was a grad student at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2000. And then in 2004 I saw him speak at a Department of Peace Campaign conference in Washington, D.C. in a one-on-one with Representative Dennis Kucinich. He was still as sharp as a tack, bless his heart!

I'm thankful that we had Walter Cronkite as a role model in this country. And I hope that as we search for ways to redefine what America stands for, in the wake of the current economic crisis, the political and racial divisions, and international conflicts, we are able to reach back to the values that we stood for in Walter Cronkite's America.

Walter Cronkite's Partnership

On behalf of the Arizona Board of Regents, we extend our sympathy and condolences to the Cronkite Family and the extended Cronkite "family" at Arizona State University. Thanks to the leadership of Dean Chris Callahan, I was fortunate to meet Mr. Cronkite and to discuss his interest in the future of journalism. He insisted on being called Walter and spoke as a trusted neighbor would speak about America's future and journalism's rightful place ensuring that John and Jane Q. Public would have the absolute right to know. Mr. Cronkite also spoke of the great gift of trust that America places in our journalists and future journalists and the importance of ensuring that common decency be resurrected and guide the telling of "that's the way it is". Mr. Cronkite was proud of our distinguished faculty (Aaron Brown for one) but most importantly of our students. We in Arizona are proud to be associated with his legacy...The Cronkite School. Ernest Calderon, president, Arizona Board of Regents

Nobody But Mr. Cronkite

When I once worked for a broadcasting company that pressured me and my reporting partner to actually lie on the air and then fired us both when we not only refused but threatened to report its misconduct to the FCC, we ended up filing a whistleblower lawsuit. Obvious as it seems, we needed some respected voice in Journalism to explain to a jury why it's wrong to broadcast a lie, even when it saves advertising revenue or legal fees for the broadcaster.

No journalist in town had the courage to stand up and say so for fear they'd hurt their own career. Nobody else in the state would, either. And nobody at any station, or network, or university, or trade organization, or even at one of those institutes that claim to stand up for ethics and the public interest. Privately, they all confided the downside to publicly making such a point in a fight against the biggest, richest media organization in the world. Nobody wanted to lose their job--or a chance at the next, better one that might come along. Nobody wanted to lose potential funding for their school, or grant for their foundation.

When I called him out of the blue as sort of a last resort after never considering an icon like him had the time or inclination to get involved, Walter Cronkite didn't hesitate a moment to do what the others would not. Even in his later years and with plenty of other projects he cared about helping, he stood up, under oath, and made it clear that for any journalist to report what is known to be false was the journalistic equivalent of mortal sin. In the plain talk that always served him so well, he explained that the public airwaves were not just a commodity to facilitate a corporate profit. He made it clear no business decision should ever violate the public trust to be honest and accurate and fair.

There was never another like Walter Cronkite when I needed his help...and certainly none like him in what passes for Journalism today. Godspeed to your reward, Mr. Cronkite, you have earned it so well!

Thank you

What an amazing and inspiring story, Mr. Wilson. I hope that everyone who reads that will take it to heart. Our country needs all the inspiration we can muster right now to weather the ethical storms upon us. Thank you for doing your part and taking a stand. Without your courage and principled choices, that story wouldn't have happened.

Proud to be a Cronkite Grad

I was a broadcasting student when the ASU Journalism and Telecommunications program was renamed to honor Walter Cronkite. I've watched the school grow and become a powerhouse in journalism schools, watched my classmates on news programs across the country. Mr. Cronkite not only gave his name to the school, he gave time and energy into helping promote and improve the journalism school. ASU has been lucky to have had the time we've had with him and though I never personally was able to meet him, I'm very proud to have graduated from the Cronkite School.

Cronkite was always gracious

Meeting Mr. Cronkite and listening to him lecture in a couple of my classses was my MOST treasured memory from my days at ASU. He was ALWAYS so gracious to the students he met and lectured in front of. He would answer every question, (and sometimes the same question two or three times) as if each one was asked for the first time. He had so many fascinating places to talk about and he KNEW he was giving all of the students new and EXCITING information that we would later use, remember and build on!!!
He was always so genuine too, nothing but his true self is what you saw and spoke with.
The last time I spoke with him directly, he attended the ASU graduation ceremony, and was taken aback when I thanked him for coming to the event. He didn't seem to realize just how important he was to the students that he had attended a graduation ceremony and made a lasting memory for all of us there.


When I heard of Mr. Cronkite’s passing I immediately flashed back to my Baccalaureate graduation ceremony where he delivered the commencement address. During the numerous news reports I again flashed back to my youth recalling several of his more memorable news broadcasts. He left the public eye with honor and dignity. – Job well done. You were fondly remembered by this ASU grad.

With Cronkite, it was always about the story

By the time I met Walter Cronkite, on Nov. 12, 1996, the anchor of our times had been retired for 15 years. We chatted briefly at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism just before Cronkite went on stage to give the inaugural Herb Caen lecture. It was just small talk, but our exchange gave me a chance to tell Cronkite how much I admired his work over the years. He was gracious, and I was forever grateful to have that moment to express my appreciation to the journalist who reached the level of public trust we all strive to achieve.
Cronkite gained that trust because he embodied the best of our profession's values -- fairness, accuracy, ethics -- and he maintained his reporter's passion for pursuit of the story even after he was securely perched in the industry's premier seat. But there was something else about Cronkite that distinguished him from other journalists who receive an intoxicating touch of celebrity. Even as he brought us the biggest stories of our time, he always, always, kept himself secondary to the story. One of his many legacies was his demonstration of the appeal of humility and the power of understatement.
John Diaz
Editorial Page Editor
San Francisco Chronicle


I am very proud to work at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. The world has lost a truly great man. Now it is up to all Journalism professors to pass on what he stood for: Excellence. Rest In Peace Mr. Cronkite.

Walter Cronkite

In my lifetime I have known two "Walters" in the Journalism fraternity. The first was my neighbor when I was growing up, Walter Winchell. How exciting an individual he was and read by millions of daily readers and listened to on Sunday evenings for his 15 minute radio broadcast.He cut a swath across America of admirers and those who were not. I was in the former group. That said,however,he certainly was not America's most trusted individual.

Walter Cronkite surfaced a few years later in my early life with his nightly report on CBS Evening News. Like Winchell, he brought a personal touch to reporting the news. But, he was more respectful, insightful and with appropriate emotion for the moment.

As a Circulation executive for the New York Daily News and then the Philadelphia Inquirer, I often looked at Walter and the Evening News to help determine how many newspapers we should distribute the next morning.In those days we weren't thinking of adding a few hundred copies but with both newspapers ten's of thousands.Not only was Walter America's most trusted individual he was admired by all and helped establish the news agenda for the American public.

My wife Louise and I had the joy of meeting Walter and Walter's wife Betsy through my involvement with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University.What a privelege and honor it has been to be associated with a legend whose journalistic legacy is immeasureable.It might be said that there will be never again somone like Walter but let's hope that "someone" surfaces sooner than later. We need this person for he or she will make for a better, safer America and World.

God Bless you Walter...all of us will miss you.

Carleton Rosenburgh

Remembering Walter

Walter Cronkite has always been such an inspiration to us and to our students. His is an amazing legacy, considering that most students have never seen him live on television. We’re all proud to say we’re from the Cronkite School.

Walter’s legacy to the field of journalism is profound too. His name is synonymous with trustworthiness, integrity, intelligent reporting and clear, concise writing. He changed war reporting forever.

The first year I was at the Cronkite School, the annual faculty luncheon with Walter took place in the Reading Room. Since I was new, I had the honor of sitting next to him. What a delightful dining companion! We chatted about the pocketknives, tweezers and other items being confiscated by airport security agents. He thought the items should be sold back to their owners when they returned — a way to replenish the government coffers.

The image I’ll always remember is Walter breaking ground for the new Cronkite building in downtown Phoenix. He was wearing sunglasses and a hard hat set at a rakish angle, like a beret.

My favorite Walter story is when he was taken to see the new building under construction. A construction worker spied him from high atop the building and yelled down something like "We’re building this building for you, Mr. Cronkite." That shows how much he meant to everyone.

Mr. Cronkite

Like so many who entered journalism in the 1970s, I was raised watching Mr. Cronkite tell all of the major stories during the 1960s. He will be missed. My wish is that we can all live into our 90s with half as much class as he demonstrated in his professional life. Thank you Mr. Cronkite because "that's the way it is."

Memories of Walter

I met Walter Cronkite at the first Cronkite Award Luncheon. It was a privilege to get to know him personally over the years. I particularly appreciated his support during the year I served as interim director of the Cronkite School. I will never forget picking up the phone in the director’s office to hear….”Fritz, it’s Walter.” My thoughts over the past couple of days have been of Walter and our students. Even though none of them remembers Walter on the CBS Evening News, I always noted that the students were still in awe when he entered the room and spoke in that famous voice. His memory and the example he set for future journalists will live on in the Cronkite School.

The Day I Met Walter Cronkite

One of the most memorable days of my college career came when Walter Cronkite was making his annual visit to the University. It was on the same day that I learned that I had won the coveted paid internship at the Phoenix Fox News affiliate. I was SO excited! I then went on to hear and see Mr. Cronkite present and to the students and faculty. After the event, I waited outside the door he was exiting from. I walked with him to his waiting car, and told him of my recent win. He looked genuinely happy for me, shook my hand and wished me luck. I was on cloud nine. He will be sorely missed by many, perhaps the greatest broadcast journalist we'll ever know. RIP, Mr. Cronkite.

Walter Cronkite and ASU

The name Walter Cronkite immediately evokes memories of great moments in American history, to say nothing of American journalism. “America’s Most Trusted Man” narrated man triumphantly first setting foot on the moon as well as serving as the virtual voice of the US Space program for over two decades. He also wept with us when President Kennedy was assassinated and expressed shock and dismay when Lee Harvey Oswald was gunned down by Jack Ruby. It is hard for me to think of a single major event from politics to wars that Walter didn’t help me sort out and understand and place into a comprehensible context. He was a journalist’s journalist and inspired four generations of men and women to enter the profession brimming with commitment and integrity.

Many of my fondest memories of Walter involved his interaction with the students from his name sake school at ASU. During his visits to the campus, students were consistently spellbound by his firm but gentle counsel, war stories and his constant admonitions about the importance of ethical behavior, never taking shortcuts, absolute accuracy and double-checking, then triple-checking sources. Walter never talked down to the students. He treated them as colleagues and he clearly understood his stature as a role model and counselor. Further, he clearly cherished his time with them.

In my personal dealings with Walter, which were all too few, he was always a gentleman and thoughtfully expressed his appreciation to me and other board members who served his school. He cared deeply about ASU and the Cronkite School and was fully involved in the design and construction of the new downtown campus facility. He was especially proud of the college’s state-of-the-art facilities and how generations of new journalists will carry his name on their diplomas, taking with them cutting edge tools Walter could not possibly have imagined when he was a foreign correspondent during World War II, but which fascinated him as he discovered, right along with the students, how to incorporate new means of disseminating news and information.

It is a major understatement to say the mold was broken when Walter Cronkite assumed the anchor chair at CBS. It is an even greater understatement to say he will be missed. Of note, ASU is blessed to have many hours of videotape, writings and very fond memories of his participation with his school – the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Rest in peace, Walter, and rest assured that the legacy you leave to the profession you helped to shape will benefit from the exemplary manner in which you conducted yourself personally and professionally.

Win Holden
Publisher, Arizona Highways Magazine
President, ASU/Cronkite School Endowment Board

Walter's Words

Walter’s Words
A few reflections by Dr. Bill Silcock.

Walter’s way with words went beyond the bass tones that anchored the CBS newscast each night. They soothed a nation and my family in ‘63, after the death of a president. Walter’s words underscored the making of history as Armstrong lumbered on the moon. Four years later, I was in high school, living in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia when Walter walked my parents and me through the maze of Watergate in that historic CBS Evening News broadcast.

Choking words. Celebratory words of exclamation. Words that challenged and criticized from a position of credibility. I must have heard thousands of words from Walter “on the air” before I heard him utter a sound in person. That happened when I joined the faculty of his school in 2001.

The most powerful words he spoke to me were understated – in written form. We’d just spent the hour in a lecture hall with 300 plus students – me moderating (me moderating Walter Cronkite!) as he engaged the students on a wire feed full of topics. Now at the private faculty lunch (me sitting next to Walter Cronkite!) I asked for an autograph. He wrote - To Bill who does one fine interview. It is the finest compliment I have ever been paid in 30 years of journalism. The picture he signed smiles back at me daily at my office desk. Gracious and good-natured, always with a grin, Walter knew how to bridge the gap between his star power and your being awe struck in his presence when words failed you.

Five years later, in 2004, as we produced a documentary, I interviewed him in his museum quality office, full of a career of artifacts, high in CBS’s “Black Rock” tower in Manhattan. He remembered past meetings. More importantly, he instantly grasped the direction of the documentary topic about the role of the press in the Presidential election process. He took me and my crew for a 30-minute rocket ride through the history of the press, the pundits and the people in television news. How can you edit Walter?

Later, as health hindered his robust connecting with the faculty and the students – like the old tennis player he was you could see that he wanted to be engaged with you full court -- his words began to be more measured. Those who loved him stood close by ensuring his words wouldn’t stumble and slur. They never did.

But Walter was never silenced. That quick study mind answered questions.
“What do you consumer for your daily media diet?”
"I recommended everything from the Times to the Post to the Tabloids"
and “What do you think of the internet?”
"There is a lot of intelligent good material there and there is a lot of junk. Sometimes the junk is the most interesting."

This Missouri man who learned later in life to chart the oceans has sailed back into harbor, a resting place near his First Mate Betsy. But I doubt it’s a dull, quiet place. I suspect Walter’s engaging the angels and peppering them with all kinds of questions.

Each time I walk up the staircase in his journalism school I encounter an artist designed six-story window. Sunlight mixed with man-made lights creating all kinds of images both day and night. When you go there pause and watch the light dance.

Every step can remind you of Walter’s words. His wisdom – "Journalists must be ever skeptical but never cynical for cynicism deadens the approach a good journalist should have to a story." Or the many words he crafted with personal kindness for the nervous student or professor. Whether a delivered as a stand up from VietNam or from a sky booth at political convention in Chicago always Walter’s words were teaching words about the way it is, the way it was and even about the way it will always be.

“Old anchorman never fade away,” he said closing out his last regular broadcast. “They just keep coming back for more. I will be away on assignment for the next few years.”

The window in his school – this staircase of light – allows his dispatches from the field to remain ever with us warming our hearts and heating up our minds with the fires of truth told in the finest tradition of journalism.

Walter's Words

Bill: Most beautifully said and felt! David

Remembering a legend

I'm only 19 years old, but I have grown up learning about Walter Cronkite as one of the greatest names in TV news history. As the most trusted man in America, Cronkite captured more than hearts, he captured trust. As a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, I am honored to have the chance to live under his example. Cronkite embodied everything I love about journalism; ethics, trust, and just great reporting. I unfortunately never had a chance to meet the man who is the namesake of our school, but I can say that I was one of the many influenced by him because of his presence. He will be missed, but his legacy continues on today.

That Special Day

The special day I met Walter Cronkite. I was the new receptionist for the Cronkite School, having worked there only 4 weeks. Plans for Mr. Cronkite’s visit for the 15th Annual Awards Luncheon were set. Dr. Anderson, the School’s Director, coordinated Mr. Cronkite’s visit to meet the students and faculty the next day. Having read his book, A Reporter’s Life, I brought the book to School the next day, hoping there would be time for him to sign it. The thrill of meeting him mounted as he walked into the office. I shook his hand, introduced myself and told him I was a new employee and happy to be working for the School. Later in the day I picked up my book, open to the signature page and read -
Ms. Karen Shannon,
Delighted you are with us,
Walter Cronkite,
Nov. 19, 1998.
That day was my birthday. It was truly a special day.

Kennedy Assasination Cronkite coverage in Dallas- 1971 Graduate

Prior to entering ASU in 1966 as a Freshman,in Dallas 1963 I saw JFK 20 minutes before he was killed and Cronkite's subsequent touching coverage on black and white TV. This, his Viet Nam coverage and two more Assasinations (King and R. Kennedy) during my four years at ASU, consecrated my belief that indeed Walter was "the most trusted man in America!
Paul Probst ASU 1971

The Most Trusted Man in America

Walter Cronkite has set a high bar for the journalism field. His honesty and passion for his career made him someone that everyone could trust when they turned on their television. I hope to express these same qualities when I start my career. R.I.P. Walter Cronkite.

A man of elegance and professionalism

The summer before my freshman year of college I was working out at the gym in my Walter Cronkite T-shirt. As I was leaving the owner told me he was a friend of the man on my shirt. I learned that the gym owner had a house next door to Mr. Cronkite and on occasion enjoyed sailing with him. This summer I met one of his close young adult friends who reflected with gaiety on their car racing days. I read this memory wall and realize even more what an impression this man left during his time. It seems wherever I turn there is someone's life that has been touched by Walter Cronkite

I am truly blessed to have personally met him and listen to him speak. Although he has passed I will still see his energy and passion for journalism through my professors and classmates on the Cronkite Campus. He was a man of elegance and professionalism, someone I admire and look up to. He is the journalist’s role model.

Walter Cronkite, we all continue to learn from you.

Walter Cronkite: A great man passes on

Thank you Walter for being there for us. Thank you for being there so long. We few, we lucky few who ever had a chance to exchange words with you, to share an idea or a funny anecdote, to see your eyes light up at our words. Every student that ever met you at ASU understood that greatness you personified, that humble yet resolute truth you championed.

Being born in 1953, I really did grow-up with you as an influence. You were in our home every evening in black and white for years--the Cuban missile crisis had only shades of grey. Then, as your hair turned to silver, the television screen began to glow in color, and another long war came into our living rooms now in bright red.

I was a freshman in high school when you came back from a trip to Vietnam. Honoring your pact with the American people you pointed out its futility in an on the air editorial. You were all young men's champion then, more than ever, and President Johnson knew if he'd lost you he'd lost hope, because you were the most trusted man in America, you really were, and know one has held that position since, or is likely to be again.

RIP Walter Cronkite

It was first semester of my Freshman year at ASU in 2005. Walter Cronkite was coming to speak at one my journalism classes. The first thing he said was, "When asking me questions, please speak up a bit. I'm a little hard of hearing. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm deaf as a post!" While I was laughing at his joke, it made me realize how much more I looked up to him. Here was this incredibly successful, intelligent, experienced journalist poking fun at himself, letting this new generation of journalists know that he was just as human as we were. He will be missed greatly and I will never stop using his brilliant scope of journalist work as inspiration. RIP!

It's faded and yellowed and a

It's faded and yellowed and a bit crumpled now. It survived moves from Michigan to the basement and years later, to the second floor of Stauffer Hall. Last summer I hand carried it to its new home in downtown Phoenix. It's the letter I received from Mr. Cronkite welcoming me to the faculty of the school that bears his name. The pride I felt when I received that letter in the spring of 1994 has only grown over the past 15 years and is reinforced every day. Thank you, Mr. Cronkite. You will be missed.
Marianne Barrett
Senior Associate Dean and Solheim Professor
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

My late mother-in-law was

My late mother-in-law was always proud of my career as a newspaper reporter, but on a few occasions over the years she urged me to consider a higher calling: "You should be a journalist like Walter Cronkite." I wish she had lived at least until November 1996, during my first semester on the faculty of the school that bears his name, when I first met Walter in person. As a reporter, I had met and interviewed many famous people, but I was awed to be in the same room as the icon who had told me "the way it is" each evening as I grew up. Unlike so many other self-important household names I have met over the years,

turning the tables: Paparazzi for Walter Cronkite

An assignment posed to us, students in Photojournalism by the late Frank Hoy: follow Walter Cronkite around the ASU campus as he visited classes. How thrilling to be so close to him, training my lens to capture him interacting with students in various venues. The stack of photographs that were the result, while added to my portfolio, mean so much more. I can't say that he was THE influence that made me set out on my trek to pursue my studies in broadcast journalism, but he definitely was tops and I am proud to be an alumni from the school that bears his name.

-Joanne Littlefield
Masters (2004)

Remembering a legend

As a journalist Walter was always an inspiration to me professionally, however in his visits to the Cronkite School I came to appreciate him as a genuine person.

Walter Cronkite, a Model Journalist, a Model Man

Thank you Walter, for your many contributions to journalism and to your country. You have made us understand what a journalist should truly be: To give the news, to delight in doing so, and above all, to give it honestly and with all ones heart. Thank you, I aspire to do my job even a fraction as well as you. You will not be forgotten, and you will be forever missed. Your passing is unfortunate for us left behind here, but your life was a blessing, "And thats the way it is". Goodnight Walter Cronkite and R.I.P. God bless you.

I remember meeting Walter

I remember meeting Walter Cronkite on one of his visits to ASU when I was a sophomore. I was in awe of meeting the "most trusted man in America." He was easy and nice to talk to. There is no doubt he influcenced my love of journalism and inspired me to become involved in the world of news today as an anchor and reporter.


A man who indeed stood fast in time "to improve the lot of others", who's "tiny ripple" once spoke of now encircles our vast reservoir of life,"for that's the way it is" Walter Cronkite, thank you for embracing us, we shall miss you.

One of A Kind

Uncle Walter was the steady hand who held ours through the the pain of the '60s assassinations, the tumultuous years of the Viet Nam war, and the joy of landing on the moon. In class, he was humble, gracious and knowledgeable. A true gentleman and a fine journalist who adhered to the highest possible standards. I'm proud that my graduate degree bears his name. I doubt we'll ever see one like him again.

Losing our mentor

On Nov. 22, 1963, I was working my college job in a dorm when someone shouted from an upper floor that President Kennedy may have been shot. As the afternoon wore on, may have became certainty, then the possibility he had died became the terrible news. But as is often the case with momentous tragedy, none of it seemed real. No president had been assassinated since McKinley, who was killed when my grandparents were teenagers. That evening the unbelievable became reality in the instant Walter Cronkite took off his glasses and paused, his voice choked for the only time any viewer would observe. Those who were watching have taken away different messages in remembering it. For me it was the moment a reporter turned information not merely into news but into reality, for me and millions of others. Getting to know Walter over the years as a faculty member in his school offered a glimpse into the personal integrity that inspired such depth of trust in those who never met him. He was and is the gold standard in journalism.

Re: losing our mentor

Thanks for sharing the memories, Dr. Sylvester. I agree with you that Walter Cronkite was the gold standard for journalism. He's the reason I went to ASU (instead of other J schools). I was fortunate enough to have great teachers such as yourself, and the opportunity to meet him at one of the awards luncheons. Great memories.
Patrick O'Rourke ['92-'94]

What Walter Cronkite meant to me…

What Walter Cronkite meant to me…

By Stan Robinson

I was born and raised in Chicago. In college I was one who felt that the Viet-Nam War was not the course of action for this country. Sure, it was more ideological than any thing else. I was drafted in May of 1966, was trained as an Army engineer, and found myself in Viet Nam the following May. During that time from May of 1967 to May of 68’, what was previously ideology became harsh cold reality. I had first hand experience that the war was definitely not the course of action we should be pursuing.

In May of 68’ I came back home to Chicago, more fervent than ever, that we should leave Viet Nam. I joined Viet-Nam Vets against the war, and yes, I found myself right in the middle of the now famous Chicago Police Riot in August 1968 across the street from the Conrad Hilton (where the Democratic National Convention was being held). In Grant Park, various groups from the Black Panther Party, SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) to our group, had gathered to display our disapproval. The events of that gathering are now a part of history.

More importantly for me, when Walter Cronkite, on air, gave his famous editorial on his feelings on the Viet-Nam war, I thought, “Some one, in a position to say first hand, and have millions of people listen, finally gets it and is speaking up!” Walter Cronkite was in Viet Nam during the Tet Offensive (February of 68’) as was I and so many of us.

By the early 70’s I was working for NBC-TV News in the Chicago bureau as a news film editor. Of course the competition of the big three news networks is an ongoing fact of the business of news. It was during this time that I really took a hard look at the various network news presentations, and, the primary news faces. Yes, Walter Cronkite was at a “rival” network, and as always the inside ‘buzz’ filters to all in the news family. The one resounding comment that was always at the forefront in “inside” comments on Walter Cronkite, he never, ever, goes forward with out first doing his homework on any given subject. Walter Cronkite had gotten my attention a few years earlier with his editorial on Viet Nam. With the insight from inside of the news industry, this became my approach, not only for news production (where I was working at the time), but where ever my career path would take me; I would do my homework and, “get it right”.

Thank you Walter Cronkite. I live a couple of blocks from the Phoenix, AZ downtown ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication building. I pass by it quite often. Now, when I pass, I’ll nod and remember to, “Get it right”…

# # #

Stan Robinson, in retirement after working in media production for 22 years, currently is a movie reviewer, provides motion picture industry articles and celebrity interviews for AZ Weekly Entertainment Magazine in Phoenix, AZ

# # #

Walter Cronkite

I was a very young mother, ironing baby clothes, when my neighbor called me and said, "Turn on the TV!" When I did, there was Walter Cronkite, very serious, but very calm, telling us all about the shooting, and ultimate death, of President Kennedy. His brief but telling show of emotion at the announcement that the president's death had been confirmed, helped us all understand so much about that moment.

His professionalism, honesty, integrity and intellectual acuity beamed at us through that television screen throughout the myriad news programs we viewed... dramatic or mundane news..his telling of it always to be trusted.

His gentle, straightforward demeanor, and especially the crinkles around those eyes, made me love him from Day One.

Goodbye, Uncle Walter, and bless you.

Walter Cronkite: A Great Man

I grew up watching Walter Cronkite on the evening news, but it was his specials I remember most. Watching "You Are There," I saw history as a narrative, not just a list of dates to memorize. Cronkite made history fun and accessible. As current events unfolded, Cronkite was there: when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, it was Cronkite's voice that broke the news to us. When we celebrated the first lunar landing, Cronkite was there. His news reporting was insightful and down-to-earth, so that even a child could understand what was happening. He will be missed by many of us who grew up within the sound of his voice.

Walter Cronkite memories

In my few short years on the faculty I was privileged to meet Walter four times and share thoughts with him. He had been a hero since the weekend I spent in front of the television in 1963 mourning the death of John F. Kennedy. Those conversations with Walter were a thrill, but my Walter memories focus most on how he affected people.
The scene at the construction site of the new building when the construction workers shouted down from the third floor to Walter that they were going to build a great building for him was such a testament to the impact Walter has on America. Just as significant was the response you got in the Phoenix area when you mentioned that you taught journalism at ASU. From baristas to store clerks to butchers the rapid-fire response was always, "Oh,you mean the Walter Cronkite School!" Walter's universal greatness is represented by that powerful brand name recognition.
But the most moving memory of Walter Cronkite I have is what the mere mention of his name, or the proposed chance to meet him, did to our students. These are students who never watched Walter cover a story, but his iconic stature instilled them with joy, integrity and pride. They treated their encounters with him like golden,treasured memories to be stored and cherished forever. By being the very best, Walter Cronkite touched human beings the way most of our fleeting popular heros never can.

Media Literacy teacher wrote a poem

In memory of Walter Cronkite
That's the way it was
by rainbowchaser ( aka Maddy Steinhart)

Those of us of a certain age also called Baby Boomers remember a simpler time.

Simpler because we talked to people face to face.

No fluff.

The story and the truth.

Calm and to the point.

No Internet, Twitter, Cell Phones, or instant access applications.

In the United States,one man gave us the facts and just the facts of the news and History in its making.

Walter Cronkite will be sadly missed and hopefully he and his wife Betsey will be sailing along together for eternity.

That's the way it was and it will never be again.


Authors Comments

CBS and all of my fellow Baby Boomers have lost a trusted friend and incredible journalist!

My memories of Walter

Having had the privilege of working for the Cronkite School for 22 years, I always looked forward to our annual visits from Walter. He was so involved with the school and was so gracious with his time when visited. I first met Walter in 1988 and was star-struck. I remember calling my grandmother to tell her all about it. Walter had a way of making anyone he spoke with feel like an old friend. He valued every person he met and made that individual feel important. Walter was one of the most genuine people I have had the privilege of meeting and I will always remember him as the great man he was. We will miss you Walter. God bless you and your family.

Walter Cronkite, RIP

He was, quite simply, what all of us as young journalists aspired to be.

Walter Cronkite

I began watching Walter Cronkite on TV when I was 5 years old. As I look back, I think that was when I became a 'news junkie.' When I returned to college in my 40's and decided to finish my degree, the only subject in which I found interest was Journalism. I had moved from Atlanta, Georgia to Arizona because of illness and discovered ASU had the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. There I embarked upon the rigorous pursuit of my Journalism degree. The highlight of this time at ASU was when I was able to meet Walter Cronkite personally, when he came to ASU. I was able to tell him that I had grown up watching him, and how blessed I felt to attend a school named after him. I am now the Editor of Muhammad Speaks Newspaper and proud to say I am a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite endured as a symbol of American news through the entire last half of the 20th Century. He joined CBS in 1950. He anchored the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981. He excelled during CBS's coverage of the Kennedy assassination in 1963 and the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. We will miss him greatly.

The King of Credibility

I remember turning the dial to CBS, back when there was a dial. I remember watching Mr. Cronkite read the evening news. I remember the respect my grandparents and parents had for him. When he signed off for the last time in 1981, it was apparent even to a 14-year-old that much more than a retirement was happening. Some said it was the end of an era.

Now, with Mr. Cronkite's truly saying his final goodnight, it is abundantly clear that what has passed is more like an epoch. This passing is one of the final nails in the coffin of the 20th Century.

Journalism has always been a business, make no mistake. The amount which newsstand sales, subscriptions and ratings have influenced the objectivity of news reporting have always waxed and waned. And so with it has the level of credibility and ultimately, in the case of Mr. Cronkite, influence. What Mr. Cronkite did for decades was earn and keep the trust of generations.

At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur, not all "progress" is good. Technically, cancer is progress. Technically, technology has taken journalism to a scary place. Now anyone with an agenda or without a brain can point their camera at something, upload it to YouTube, Tweet it and call it news. Is it great that Twitter helped the Iranian protestors communicate? Definitely. Is it nice that the first picture of the Miracle on The Hudson came from Twitter? Sure. But those people were documenting facts. Now, I am hearing things like "Twitter is reporting..."That's what was being said those early hours after Michael Jackson's death. Excuse me, did "Twitter" get his Masters in journalism and work as a cub reporter in East Nowhere for five years. Was Twitter embedded with the troops in Iraq? Did Twitter tell hundreds of millions of Americans Kennedy was dead only when he was sure?

Speed is important but so is accuracy. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. What if someone wanted to start a false rumor about a certain, recently-elected official's being assassinated? Thanks to social networks and the democratization of the fourth estate, by the time the truth was conclusively established, riots might have already broken out and financial markets around the world could have plummeted.

Everyone knows that they can't just scream FIRE in a movie theater. They will be arrested for creating false jeopardy and therefore real danger. Same thing has to apply to the new journalists of today. There needs to be accountability and integrity. All of us. An oath needs to be taken by everyone out there who blogs and Tweets and Flickrs. Place your Blackberry or iPhone on the Bible and repeat after me. "I, tweet -a -holic, do solemnly swear, in the memory of Walter Cronkite, to report information that I have verified to be accurate and true." We'll call it The Cronkite Code.

Rodney King and so many more would never have seen justice had an average Joe with a video camera not "reported" what happened. That is journalism being upheld by the populace. News is inherently true. It is fact. And yes, it is always "breaking" -- a ridiculous word used everywhere in the media now. How it is sliced and diced, what background graphics are attached to it and who is willing to talk off the record about it is what makes news reporting suspect. Mr. Cronkite always made his viewers feel like what they were hearing was true. You could count that if he was reading it, a significant effort had been made to get it right.

I have no idea if Mr. Cronkite was well enough these last weeks to even follow the Michael Jackson story. If he did, he knew that the news cycle on Jackson had worked its way to its natural point of stasis. Soon the toxicology reports will be on every front page and Beverly Hills doctors will be doing perp moonwalks. Everyone from CNN to TMZ to your neighbor, Bob, will be scrambling to break the news. But not yet. Right now the Jackson story is cold. With The King of Pop finally laid to rest, maybe the King of Credibility knew in his heart this was the time to say goodbye and receive the headline coverage he so richly deserved.

Goodbye, Mr. Cronkite. May we all please adopt a code of conduct for news reporting which does you proud.

Telling the truth

I grew up on an Arizona cattle ranch that was so remote we didn't get a TV until I was 10 years old. We couldn't get CBS or any of the other networks on our temperamental portable black-and-white-with-rabbit-ears, although if we wiggled the antennae just right we'd tune in to a station in Phoenix. On such occasions, while the mountain lions howled in the back pasture, we'd huddle in front of the TV watching Laurel and Hardy reruns and seemingly endless commercials showcasing a faded beauty queen named Aquanetta, who winkingly exhorted viewers to buy automobiles from her dealer-hubby, "Mr. Touchdown."

When I moved to the big city, schlocky Aquanetta no longer held any fascination. Phoenix had at least four stations that came in clear as could be--no snow, no static--and this guy Walter Cronkite had an especially addictive evening newscast on CBS. Slack-jawed, I watched Cronkite's coverage of Kent State, Watergate, the lunar landing. For a reason I did not entirely understand, he engendered trust.

Now that I'm a journalist myself, I understand that Americans trusted Cronkite because his stories were true and he wasn't afraid to tell them.

Now that Cronkite is dead, his legacy lives on at the j-school that bears his name. I'm honored to have a very small part in training a new generation of journalists who understand the sacred relationship between a reporter and his or her audience. These young journalists are trained in new media but they're also trained in traditional, solid reporting. They will go out in the world and tell stories that must be told. Brave stories. True stories.

Just like Walter Cronkite.

Many thanks, Mr. Cronkite

My memories of Walter Cronkite always trigger a smile. Visits to “his school” were personal and low-key and he clearly wanted it that way. Each fall, he would arrive at either the Biltmore or Phoenician, days before the annual scholarship luncheon, and spend time on the Tempe campus visiting students and faculty.

As a new faculty member in 1989, I was curious if he would appear on campus with an entourage exiting a limo befitting his star status, but that was not the case. He opted for a roomy, comfortable sedan, albeit chauffeured, in the company of local friends, ASU officials and later, an assistant. That told me something about him.

I enjoyed the casual sack lunches he and faculty members shared at simple tables in our all-purpose conference room in Stauffer Hall. He thanked us for making him look good, asked questions, listened and liked the conversation…and the chocolate chip cookies.

On one visit Doug Anderson, then director of the School, asked my help to tactfully rescue our special guest from the throngs of students who had “just one more question” for a man they clearly cherished. Their energy invigorated him. He answered every question, posed for photos then signed his name on notebooks, t-shirts and textbooks taking time to personalize each item.

Every class he visited was standing room only. In fact, one session in the nearby KAET studio spilled into hallways and more than likely created a fire hazard but no one would leave voluntarily.

I was also struck with the actual tears that would flow from recipients of the Award for Excellence in Journalism that Walter and the School would bestow upon a major media figure at the annual luncheon. Warm words of respect and affection for our namesake from the likes of Charles Kuralt, Katharine Graham, Charles Osgood, Bill Moyers, Jane Pauley, Tom Brokaw and Jim Lehrer were genuine.

In 2003, our faculty get-together moved to a small meeting room at the host hotel. I sat beside his wife Betsy as Walter held court and explained how he fell madly in love at first sight with a beautiful redhead. She smiled, nodded then teased him about how many times he had told that story.

A year later, while waiting for the guest of honor in a reception room at the hotel, I stood talking with fellow faculty members with my back to the door. The conversation was interrupted by a gentle tap on my left shoulder. As I turned, I heard an unmistakable voice. With hand outstretched, a smile on his face he said, “Hello, I’m Walter Cronkite.” How sweet and unassuming.

In 2005, I advised a student team named grand prize recipients of a NASA- sponsored competition. The unique award, in pewter, is a scale model of the International Space Station including a docked Space Shuttle. As our founding dean, Chris Callahan, handed him the award for an up-close look, a smile crossed his face. I was so pleased to please him.

The new building broke ground in 2007 with Mr. Cronkite, hard hat on and shovel in hand, beaming at the brink of this new adventure. He monitored the work-in- progress and sent best wishes when it opened in 2008 but sadly for all didn’t get the chance to visit “his school” just one more time.

Thanks for sharing your memories

Dr. Matera, thanks for sharing those great memories. I thought about doing the same, but then found it more valuable to read others' words and memories. In particular your words stand out, as they always did so many years ago when I was fortunate enough to learn so much from you. It's sad day to lose such an icon of communications, and a great day to celebrate his contributions to the world. Thanks for sharing.
Patrick O'Rourke ['92-'94]

Walter Cronkite's passing

Walter Cronkite was an inspiration and role model for so many us in the journalism profession. After a long career in newspapers, it gave me great pride to start a new profession by joining the faculty of an institution named the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. His name inspires us to teach the qualities for which he stood: integrity, dignity and professionalism. We'll do our best to keep those alive.

A Man of Courage and Excellence

Walter was a warm and engaging man who had attained much but always remembered and embodied the American spirit. I remember on one occasion he spoke of parachuting into Holland during the war with reverence toward the soldiers...never realizing his own courage. He jumped without training into large scale combat...unbelievable. His memory will live on in generations of ASU students trained to proudly reflect his standard of excellence, integrity and dedication.

His kind words inspired my career

Walter Cronkite came to Stanford to speak when I was a sophomore in the mid-70s. After his talk, I introduced myself and told him I was thinking about going into wire service reporting. He took the time to sit down on a bench with me and talk about why working for a wire service was the best training a journalist could have. He was right! I became the campus stringer for the Associated Press and later joined UPI, where I was a multiplatform journalist WAAAY before it was cool. It also led me into television reporting.
On the day he died, I was interviewing NBC anchor Brian Williams for an upcoming book. Brian spoke about growing up in a household where Cronkite was required viewing before dinner. He said that watching Cronkite was the best textbook a journalist could have. I couldn't agree more. It's hard to belive that powerful voice is gone, but his example will be with us forever.

The Man

Walter’s annual pilgrimage to Arizona State University in conjunction with the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism was always much anticipated and appreciated by the faculty at the Cronkite School. Even had one been unfamiliar with Walter's life history and his iconic place in American history, he would still have left a lasting impression as a kind and gracious man with an astounding breadth of knowledge and intellectual curiosity, an abiding interest in the work of others and an enjoyment of students, a wonderful sense of humor and delightful storytelling, and a deep appreciation of the opportunities life had afforded him. We shall miss him dearly and cherish those memories always.


This was the man that all newcaster are suppose to be: a man with integrity and not afraid to tell you the truth. This is a dying breed of people who will never be again unless we follow this man way of doing thing and reporting the news. Those who are in his college, study this man and how he did his job. Can you handle the truth? Repeat this man life out of respect of this man.

Lessons Learned

I was talking to a friend last night after hearing about Walter Cronkite's death. I told them I felt I had lost the second most important man in my life. The most important of course was my father Ray Green who taught me about right and wrong. He taught me about respect, and he taught me that it was OK for a young, African American woman to question the establishment, to ask for answers if I felt something was wrong. My father taught me to not be afraid to go against the tide as long as I got the answers I was searching for. He also taught me that you had to educated, that you had to know what was going on in the world. That it was our responsibility.

Watching Mr. Cronkite every night on TV with my father helped reinforce these lessons. Mr. Cronkite helped fuel my passion for seeking the truth, even if sometimes the cost was high. As I launched my own journalism career after graduating with a journalism degree from Arizona State University, I took Mr. Cronkite with me into every newsroom I worked. For more than two decades, I tried to ask the questions he would ask, wanting to make sure I was being a good journalist, wanting to make sure he was proud of the job I was doing. I worked in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York City and I always hoped that some day Mr. Cronkite might actually be traveling the country, turn on a TV and see one of my shows. I wanted to make sure I had done my best, every day.

Walter Cronkite didn't know me, but I sure felt like I knew him. I finally got a chance to meet Mr. Cronkite after accepting a job as a Professor of Practice at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. The entire time I sat next to him all I could think about was "I wish my Dad was here". I feel very lucky to have had both of these amazing men in my life!

The past three years I have had the honor of serving as the Broadcast Director for Cronkite News Service, and as I called all the stations in Arizona last night to tell them we would be sending out some special stories about Walter, I must admit it was with extra pride that I announced that I was Susan Green calling from Cronkite News Service.

Walter Cronkite -- RIP

Walter Cronkite was the first "newsman" that I watched as a little girl growing up. He inspired me to become a journalist. I have been in the newspaper industry now for 22 years now. Things have changed a lot in the field over the years (could he have imagined the impact of the World Wide Web?), but the fundamentals of good journalism haven't. Thank goodness for that! In my house, we used to call him "Uncle Walt" because he was like a member of the family. So Uncle Walt, you've met your deadline. May you now rest in peace.

memories of Walter Cronkite

Walter cronkite had a dramatic influence on my life, beginning as a 10-year-old boy parked in front the television set each Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. to watch Cronkite's "Twentieth Century" broadcasts. While the archive footage of tanks and planes was a lure, it was the maps and graphic, the "how and why" of World W II that sparked my lifelong interest in military history.

Ten years later, as a young soldier serving in Vietnam, I saw first-hand what Cronkite spoke to in his historic visit to the war zone: We could not win. The thing that truly inspired me was that Cronkite went there and saw and heard what was really going on, and he had the integrity and intestinal fortitude to give us the truth rather than parroting the highly sanitized version of the war being fed to the public.

As a young broadcast journalist, I always took the view that I was not speaking to some vast "mass" audience, but rather to a single person. I usually imagined my mom on the other side of the anchor desk, and I would tell her what was going on in the world. After joining the Cronkite School faculty in 1990, I had the pleasure to meet Walter and host his visits to my broadcast reporting classes. During one such visit to my class, I was amazed to learn that he delivered the news to his mom as well.

We have lost a friend.

That's true, I remembered one

That's true, I remembered one person inquired if I really believed that men had actually stepped on the surface of the moon -- perhaps it was all just a big hoax. My answer was quick. Of course it was real. I was there with Walter Cronkite when it happened. Walter always checked his facts carefully and then told me the unvarnished truth. Cronkite’s integrity was his most important attribute and he guarded it carefully.

Walter was a humorous guy!

Like many Americans, I grew up watching Walter Cronkite around the dinner table with my parents and grandparents. There is warmth and comfort in familiarity in our lives, which is how Walter made us feel.

My parents decided to move to Arizona mid-way through my college years. I was reluctant to leave my friends and school in Michigan. My mother's winning selling point to me, a journalism and mass communications major, was that if I moved with them, I could attend the WALTER CRONKITE School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It worked and I went on to get my degree from this prestigious school.
I was fortunate to see and hear Walter speak many times at the annual Award luncheon the school held. As a student I was selected to attend as a student leader. He was always kind and said hello to his students while visiting, just walking around the offices back in Stauffer Hall. What I recall the most from every luncheon was Walter always being a jokester, a warm funny man! You knew he was authoritative from his newscasts but you never really witnessed him joking around. It made him even more lovable in my mind. I recall him being particularly amusing when Andy Rooney was awarded!

After a career in radio, I was asked by Dr. Frederic Leigh to join the staff of the Walter Cronkite School. This allowed many more opportunities to not only interact with Walter but expose the younger generation to his legacy. During the first year of Cronkite Village the school's Living Learning program, in which I was coordinator or, my young freshmen were able to meet Walter after he spoke to students. They were all wearing their Cronkite Village t-shirts to which Walter asked, "What do you do in Cronkite Village?" Instead of citing the tours and guest speakers they were exposed to, one of the students replied "You don't want to know, Uncle Walter." The students loved his demeanor and genuine care for their education.

I am saddened by this loss but proud to have said I worked for Walter in a small way in my lifetime.
Leah Miller
Cronkite Grad 1991

Leah Miller said it best. I

Leah Miller said it best.

I did not have the privilege of getting to know this wonderful man as well as I would have liked, but I am thankful that I did get the chance to meet him my freshman year at ASU. Being passionate about writing while growing up, my main goal after graduating high school was to attend ASU and earn my degree through the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I knew that my studies would be challenging, but it was expected due to the prestigious and inspiring career of Mr. Cronkite.

I remember being a freshman in the Cronkite Village Living and Learning Community at McClintock residential hall on campus. It felt special to be a part of such a great program. My fellow villagers and I were thrilled to find out we were going to meet Mr. Cronkite in the Spring '07 semester. Walking up to shake his hand, I could tell he was a little set back by my pink hair, tattoos, and piercings, but seeing the smile on his face as he looked at all of us wearing our Cronkite Village shirts made me feel accepted and honored to be in his presence.

I am glad to be a part of this school, and I hope that myself and the rest of the journalism students will continue to follow in his footsteps and embody Mr. Cronkite's journalistic principles of excellence.

Rest in peace Mr. Cronkite. We will all miss you. But we will never forget what you did for our field.

Saying goodbye

It has been nearly 21 hours since I heard the news about Walter's death. Although we knew it was coming (he was 92 years old), it's still just sinking in. It's hard to imagine the Cronkite School without Walter -- his visits, his guidance, his presence. But then I remind myself that as long as the school bears his name, he really is here with us. There's very little about the school that isn't, at its core, all about Cronkite. His ethics and values are present in every course we teach and every decision we make. All we can do now is keep that alive and make sure that all of our students know who he was and why he was great and why they should strive to be like him. Walter, we'll do our best.

Walter Cronkite

I will miss the excellence and high standards that Walter Cronkite held. As a child I watched him on the evening news with my late father. Values, ethics and fairness are sorely lacking into today's newspapers especially in Arizona. The media picks and choses what stories to print and what events to shield from the public. Newsworthy stories that appear in Phoenix Magazine or other venues are never seen in the Republic or the Tribune. A school named after the esteemed Walter Cronkite should teach a higher standard of journalism than that. That's what Mr. Cronkite was all about, wasn't it?

Saying Goodbye

Someone once said “why doe does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say good-bye.” For many of us that will be our sentiments with respect to Walter Cronkite. I had the privilege of meeting Walter six years ago. It was immediately evident that he loved the Cronkite School, especially the students. He loved being a part of the Cronkite Luncheon each year. And the attendees at the Luncheon loved Walter. His willing participation was invaluable. His smile was infectious, to me, he was a kind and gentle man – looking for the best in all of us. For those of us who work at the Cronkite School, and I am sure for others, Walter’s passing will leave a void in our hearts. But what a wonderful legacy he leaves to us. Least we never forget “That’s the way it is.”

Thank you

You were an amazing person, and a genuine human being.

Passing of a legend

When I first got into TV News in 1963, one of my jobs was to monitor Walter Cronkite's broadcast every night to see what video we might want to heist from it for use in our late local news. I was in awe of his communication skills and warmth, and quickly realized that the word "avuncular" was really coined for him. Later, as a producer for a competing network, we paid close attention to what he led with vs. what we led with, etc., because we knew who was at the helm of our competition. I met him once, at a funeral of one my colleagues. It was fleeting but nonetheless warm. Later, as a professor teaching young people about American mass media, I was proud to show my students the clips we've all seen this weekend: Kennedy assassination, Vietnam trip and conclusion, man on the moon, and the rest. Young people had heard the name and paid attention. Walter himself said "Murrow was the pinnacle, the head of the parade." Upon Ed Murrow's death in 1965, the legend we lost this weekend grabbed the baton and led the parade himself. Whether in a collegial or competing role, the rest of us were honored just to be able to march behind him.
Bill Knowles, Prof Emeritus, University of Montana School of Journalism

Mr. Cronkite

It's just so terribly sad. It's hard to imagine the world without Mr. Cronkite. My classmates and I were huddled around the television and saw the exact moment when he announced that President Kennedy had died. His slight loss of composure is one of the most poignant moments of the last century. And, of course, the whole world it seemed was watching Mr. Cronkite react in almost child like wonder as Neil Armstrong stepped out on to the moon. His joy reflected all our feelings. And his commentary on the Viet Nam war in '68, a rare moment of editorializing for him at that time, was the tipping point of public opinion on the war. Later, when I met him for the first time I felt like I was meeting a half century of American history and, as someone who is not prone to being star struck at all, I was star struck. He was fairly closely tied to the University of Texas and he did the voice over on a number of branding spots I oversaw there which gave me a great opportunity to interact with him. He was a total joy. His humanity was exhibited at an event recently. A woman who attended was confined to a wheel chair and suffering a terrible disease. Hardly able to speak she asked if she could meet Mr. Cronkite. Without hesitation, he responded and spent several minutes with her and was just so very gracious. She cried as did everyone who observed the encounter. It is impossible not to reflect personally on this man's life and mourn. For people of my generation it is like losing a member of the family.
Johnnie Ray

memories of a legend

When I was a kid, I would imitate Walter Cronkite, and when I became an adult and entered broadcasting I realized I could imitate him but not replicate his talent. He was one of a kind. Many years later as a Communication professor I had the privilege of sharing breakfast with Cronkite at Brown University and a decade later he generously provided me an interview for my oral history, TALKING RADIO. Just three months ago my coeditor approached him for a cover blurb for our forthcoming book--NORMAN CORWIN'S 'ONE WORLD FLIGHT.' Although quite ill at the time he was pleased to be asked and provided a marvelous paean to radio's poet laureate. In this world where gossipy blogs and Comedy Central news shows have al but replaced solid journalism, Mr. Walter Cronkite will be greatly missed indeed.

Meeting Walter

I remember meeting Walter in 2002 when we were getting the school's webzine up and running. He was in town for the award luncheon, and he met with me, Jen Hays, Vicki-Lou Balint, and Carol Schwalbe to hear about the zine and give it his blessing. I just remember thinking - "Wow, this is amazing!" He will certainly be missed!

What a show...

Life is funny. When I grew up hearing my father grumble about what TV News had become in the post-Cronkite days, I never thought I’d one day produce a live broadcast with Walter Cronkite himself as the key analyst.

I had the honor of producing the “Walter Cronkite Debate Tracker Special” following the Bush-Kerry debate at ASU’s Gammage Auditorium in 2004. It was a major event for my news station, KPHO-CBS 5, having pulled the journalism legend out of retirement for his first live broadcast in years. And for me, building a show around the sheer presence of Walter Cronkite was at once exciting, humbling and terrifying beyond words. I was 29 years old, just seven years into my broadcast journalism career, and there I was, trying to produce my way around an icon.

The broadcast itself was bumpy; it was planned not knowing how the aging anchorman would “stick to his cues” or work his way through some of the audio difficulties we had. Cronkite was insightful, if a bit more talkative than I’d anticipated. But it was a wonder to be there in the booth as it happened… to see him relaxed and at ease, even a bit wistful in his old home in front of the camera. He was jovial, avuncular, mesmerizing, so very knowing amidst the general chaos that is live news production. As the show progressed, I wished I could have done it all differently – not packing the broadcast with so many time-pressed elements and sprinkling Cronkite’s reactions in between. I wanted to stop down, like a child sitting cross-legged in front of her great-grandfather, and just have him tell me a story. His story. The way Walter Cronkite saw it. Because, as I should have known, that was all that really mattered.

At the end of the news special, it was all that my perfectionist self could do to gently take my headset off, put my head down right there in the control room, shed a few tears, take a few deep breaths, and realize that no matter how the show went, I still had a brush with greatness.

Every time I retell my “Walter Cronkite Debate Tracker Special” experience, the goose bumps return, the knots in my stomach retie themselves, and then I smile and savor the memory. I can only hope Walter Cronkite knows the lessons he taught me that night. The same lessons I now have the amazing opportunity to teach in Mr. Cronkite’s honor, at the school which bears his name. Life is funny.

Thank you Uncle Walter

Walter Cronkite will always be the greatest journalist-his legacy will continue for generations to come. It is an honor to be a current student in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. I feel truly blessed to go to a school dedicated to the namesake of such a class act-Walter Cronkite.

I also feel very fortunate to have been able to meet Walter during his last visit to ASU back in November 2007. Hearing him speak twice has been, by far, the highlight of my college career. I remember when I got to meet him and have a photo with him...I will cherish that memory for the rest of my life.

Walter-you are a true inspiration. Words can't describe how much impact you have had on the students of your school. We love you and will continue to make you proud.

And that's the way it is...

Bradford Dworak
Current Cronkite Student

Walter Cronkite--Crossing Paths!

Four times in my life I had the privilege, the honor, the pleasure of crossing paths with Walter Cronkite the man I believe to be the finest broadcast journalist of all time. (Notwithstanding Edward R. Murrow, the great journalist who started the very best radio/television news broadcast network EVER-CBS!

Please bear with me as I am excited to "report" my experiences with "Uncle Walter." In 1966 I was an assistant to the producer of the CBS local newscast in New York. Part of my job was to literally run to the network side (other end of 57th St.) to the CBS Evening News studio every night to get the Producer's rundown, which Cronkite, being Managing Editor, had a whole lot to say about. That is where I first met him--sitting at his newsdesk readying himself to go on-air. Though for years before, he had been my idol, and if I may be so bold to say, my inspiration to go into television news and one day sit in his seat--of course, when he retired. But, that's another story.

The second wonderful, and really unique, time I had with the master was in July of 1969 at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Ironic isn't it, that just this week we have reached the 40 anniversary of the moon shot. I was covering the event for WUSF-TV, and brought news students. Walter Cronkite granted me (at the time a young 20-something budding journalist) the opportunity of a lifetime. I had a personal interview on film with him outside his studio at the Cape on the evening before the launch. In fact I still have that interview on old video tape somewhere. His graciousness, his knowledge of "space," his excitement over what was about to happen came through with every word he spoke. He even told me that this event was the greatest news story of his career--even considering Vietnam, and many others.

The third time we met was at the National Governors Conference in Palm Beach, Fla. Walter Cronkite was again friendly and cooperative. He even spent some time conversing with my wife and I. He was always gracious.

Lastly, we saw one another at an RTNDA national convention, in the 1990's. He was promoting his new book, "A Reporter's Life." We visited briefly, I reminded him of our encounters over the years, he then signed my copy of his book, and our time was done. Yet, with his passing, my love for the "most trusted" newsman in America wanes not, but, in fact, grows in remembrance. He was one of the nicest persons I have ever met, and the "best of the best" journalists with whom I have ever had the distinct pleasure of crossing paths.


A role model for many

For journalists, losing Walter Cronkite is like losing a member of one’s family – a trusted friend, mentor and role model. I was fortunate to meet and work with him, and his focus on journalism ethics will always be with me. As a student in the Missouri School of Journalism’s Radio-TV News sequence I was in a small group of students who talked with him spontaneously and informally one unforgettable afternoon when he was on campus for Journalism Week. He wasn’t interested in talking about himself - he genuinely wanted to know what we, as students, were studying, thinking about, and planning to do within the profession. I’m not surprised that he took such a strong interest in the students at the Cronkite School at ASU.

After graduation I worked for the CBS affiliate for Grand Rapids, Michigan – hometown station for Congressman Jerry Ford. With Watergate, and Ford’s unexpected rise to the presidency, I worked with national CBS producers and White House Press Corps members from all of the networks. It didn’t seem special at the time – deadlines were looming! – and I had the privilege of working with many reporters now considered icons, including Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw. They were colleagues, not “stars” or “celebrities” and the focus was on reporting the story, not the reporter’s “fans” and ratings. It was also a time when few women were employed as broadcast journalists and viewers called stations to ask management to fire women for “taking away a man’s job.” Fortunately I never, ever felt the slightest hint of discrimination from any of the national media I worked with, just encouragement and inspiration.

I think Walter Cronkite wouldn’t like being in the spotlight personally due to his passing, I believe he would want all of us to take a look back at the principles and ethics that guided his career and to find a way to bring them back to the forefront of the profession. He would also encourage the men and women currently in the Cronkite School to embrace new social media technologies to continue the tradition of telling stories “the way it is.” Rest in peace, Uncle Walter, and thank you for making integrity the gold standard during your career.

Pat Elliott
Phoenix, Arizona

A dinner to remember

When the Washington Post's Katharine Graham was being honored by the Cronkite school, I hosted a dinner of a dozen or so where some of the most remarkable repartee ensued between the usually droll and dry Graham, the puckish Walter Cronkite and the effervescent syndicated humor columnist Erma Bombeck.

Oh, to have had a tape recorder. It was an evening to be remembered. But it wasn't surprising. Katharine Graham in private settings was a wonderful storyteller. Cronkite had wit only rarely seen in public. Bombeck was her usual howl.

These three giants of TV news, publishing and humor, however, also shared another quality that set them apart - personal courage.

Cronkite literally told President Lyndon Johnson to end the Vietnam War. Graham defied threats of retribution from the Nixon presidency for the Washington Post's Watergate coverage. And Bombeck rejected immediate preferential medical treatment for her kidney disease, which soon cost her life.

If there's a Hereafter, could this trio be regaling each other once again?

Pat Murphy
The Arizona Republic 1986-89

Man of Honor

I first met Walter in 1979 when I worked for Tom Chauncey at the #1 CBS affiliate in the country, KOOL-TV Phoenix. I grew up watching his newscasts and learned the power of dignified words from him. He conveyed importance without yelling. He conveyed meaning without hyperbole. He conveyed a belief in a higher standard of public discourse. He believed his audience was smart and deserved to be treated that way... especially when they did not act that way. He understand that political stances must be flexible... and that change was not something to be feared but embraced and challenged in civil discourse and molded to benefit all including the lest among us. He demanded that we all never stop trying to be better than we were yesterday. And he understand how difficult that could be. He did not believe in quitting... at anything. Walter and I talked about a number of issues over the years but what I will hold most dear are our conversations about the adventures of sailing and who was better... Haydn or Mozart. He was the definition of a man of honor. I look around the world today... and yearn for more people who can steadfastly embrace that honor and not be lured away by the intranssient rush of power and greed and notoriety. He represented what I loved about being a journalist and what I miss most. And now I miss him too.

Thank you, Walter

It had to be a newsroom prank. A pink message memo on my desk at The Boston Globe said I had missed a call from someone named Marlene Adler. Under her name and number was scribbled something like “Lunch, Walter Cronkite.” Very funny, guys. But when I looked around no one was laughing. It was 1993, and I had just co-written a series about the costs of legalized gambling in the United States. When I called the number, I learned from Marlene, his chief of staff, that the message was correct: Walter Cronkite was doing a similar project for The Discovery Channel. He wanted to buy me lunch.

We sat at a corner table in the dining room of the Boston Ritz-Carlton. When I called him “Mr. Cronkite” he brushed it off. We’re colleagues, so it’s Walter, he said, or words to that effect. He treated me as an equal, though we most certainly weren’t. He quizzed me about my family and my career. When he learned I was a former wire-service reporter his eyes went wide with pleasure. Suddenly it was 1939 and he was a young man racing to catch a train to deliver a scoop for the United Press in Kansas City. Later we talked about gambling. He had already done many hours of homework, offering nuanced, detailed analysis, and I wondered what I could possibly add to his reporting.

I left that lunch feeling proud to work in a craft that had a giant like Walter as a standard-bearer. His passing is a solemn reminder that the rest of us must carry on in his path, reporting stories with integrity, conscience, depth and humanity, never forgetting what a joy and privilege it is to be a journalist. Thank you, Walter.

With gratitude

I feel fortunate to have grown up learning history as it happened from Walter Cronkite as CBS News anchor, and to have his standards influence my own work in journalism (like my pal Steve Elliott, I felt a special affinity as a wire service hand myself).

I am tickled by the fact my sons got to learn about early American history with help from Walter Cronkite as the avuncular voice of Ben Franklin in “Liberty’s Kids.”

And though the journalism profession faces vexing challenges amid the societal changes wrought by a communications revolution, I am confident that in the hands of innovative educators like my old friend Chris Callahan (who long ago gave me the college newspaper assignment that launched my own reporting career!) and with Walter Cronkite’s standards as a foundation, future generations of reporters will be well-equipped to perform their vital role in our democracy.

In Remembrance of the Legendary Walter Cronkite

The news of the passing of "the most trusted man in America", the legendary Walter Cronkite is the greatest loss in my personal opinion. Although It has brought sadness to those of us who knew Mr. Cronkite, I know that his memory will continue to be carried out through those he knew personally, those he touched across America through his newscasts and other numerous professional achievements, and the Walter Cronkite School.

I only had the chance to meet him briefly in 2007 and at that time could not grasp just how much of an honor it truly was. My professors at the Cronkite school told me repeatedly at that time that when you get time to talk to Mr. Cronkite you will only be able to ask a few questions. This was true but only because once a question was asked of Mr. Cronkite his passion for news, history, and life itself was so great that he was on a roll from that first question. He lived every great experience of his time, covering the political, social and economic events that shaped our nation.

Mr. Cronkite was a legendary figure in the world of journalism, and although I am not pursuing that path, he still remains a true inspiration to myself and millions around the world who gained so much from such an acclaimed individual and a truly genuine person. I am honored to be graduating in December from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and hope that I can also use my talents to pay it forward for future generations.

Kirsten Fargotstein

Walter Cronkite was America.

We live in a time when innocence barely exists and cynicism often appears to be the universal refuge.

Walter Cronkite personified an earlier America where patriotism--authentic, decent, honest love of country--and skepticism could not just coexist but worked together for the benefit of all. Mr. Cronkite mirrored an optimistic America that believed in itself, yes, but more important sought to create a better life for the whole of humanity. We looked to him for the truth and he never let us down. Even in the darkest of times, Mr. Cronkite told us what we needed to know about the Vietnam quagmire. When a brilliant, paranoid President Nixon tried to subvert the Constitution for his own venal purposes, Mr. Cronkite and a number of his reporter colleagues had the moral courage to expose evil at the top of the American government. They fought their bosses, in many cases risked their livelihoods and even their personal safety to get the story out. We are forever in their debt.

I hope that Mr. Cronkite's family, friends and legions of admirers take comfort in the knowledge that we remember.

God Bless.

John Bennett
Brookline, Massachusetts

Remembering Mr. Cronkite

Remembering Mr. Cronkite:

Like so many ASU graduates, and men and women all around the world, I'm having a tough time imagining a world without Walter Cronkite. He's been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. Although his passing wasn't unexpected, the news is still tremendously sad. Over the next few weeks and months, you'll hear a lot about his accomplishments — no one in the history of journalism earned more respect, and no one deserved more. There's nothing I can say about his legacy that you don't already know. There is one story, however, that you haven't heard.

As a board member and a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, I've had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cronkite on many occasions — it will forever remain my greatest claim to fame. Most recently, Mr. Cronkite and I were in an almost empty room. On that occasion, he was in Phoenix to present the annual Walter Cronkite Award, which is given annually to a journalist who has achieved a level of success that measures up to the name on the plaque.

Among other things, the banquet surrounding the presentation always included a meet-and-greet with Mr. Cronkite. Each year, I was lucky enough to get an invitation. On his last visit, I found my way to the private reception, and there was Mr. Cronkite, alone on a stool, with only his assistant and a photographer in the room. I remember walking up, introducing myself as the editor of Arizona Highways, and asking him about the state of journalism in this country. We talked about Britney Spears being front-page news, and then he leaned over to me and asked: "Is there any chance you could send me some copies of Arizona Highways? I used to get the magazine — I don't know who sent it — but then it stopped coming. I always enjoyed looking at it."

Of course, I said, "Of course," and we continued our conversation. (By the way, he wasn't as appalled by the obsession with Britney Spears as you might think.) I had almost five minutes alone with him that day, which in Walter Cronkite time is an eternity. As a general rule, I think surreal is one of the most overused words in the English language, but there's no other way of describing that morning. I presume he received the magazines, but I never knew for sure. And I guess it doesn't really matter. That he even made the request made my day.

There will never be another Walter Cronkite. Never. On behalf of all of my colleagues at Arizona Highways, our condolences go out to Mr. Cronkite's family and friends. If ever there was an icon in our business, it was Walter Cronkite. It was an honor knowing him. The honor of a lifetime.

Robert Stieve, Editor,
Arizona Highways

A brief but treasured discussion

In the late 1990s I was in line at a reception preceding ASU's annual Cronkite Award luncheon waiting to meet Mr. Cronkite for the first time. I spent several minutes looking forward to the big moment when I was about seventh in line, when I suddenly gulped as I realized I didn't have anything to say.
I looked ahead and saw people briefly but cheerfully talking with the great journalist, who nodded and smiled a lot and spoke in return. What did all those people have to say that was entertaining and enlightening him so? What did he say back that was at least equally as enriching? What was I going to say?
By this time I was now second in line, next to greet him and was ready to face the embarrassment of saying something trite and obvious and gushing like, "You're my hero," which I'm sure he would graciously accept and chuckle about as the forearm of someone in his entourage thrust forward to usher me away.
As I shuffled forward, Mr. Cronkite saw my sport jacket lapel, which had attached a gold pin bearing the Greek letters Sigma Delta Chi (the name of the professional fraternity that is today known as the Society of Professional Journalists). I was on the organization's national board at the time.
He said he had been a longtime member. Suddenly two thoughts struck me. Our group has a well-known Code of Ethics. And Mr. Cronkite's book, "A Reporter's Life," had just been published, in which he talked about how when cities had multiple newspapers, keen competition helped assure accurate reporting compared to cities today with few or only one newspaper. I mentioned that to him, and said I hoped to help improve accuracy in my role on the SPJ board. He smiled a sincere smile and said something like, well, good luck, and before I knew it, I had discussed journalism ethics with Walter Cronkite.
Today I teach an ethics course at the Cronkite School. For Mr. Cronkite, I was of course one of hundreds. But having met the man known for such integrity throughout his career, and having exchanged words with him, is one of the most precious highlights of my years in journalism. Mark J. Scarp

Remembering Mr.Cronkite

I can remember during the 50's and into the 60's watching the 6:00 News with my folks.
It was a way to catch up with events. And Mr.Cronkite EXCELLED every newscast.
NONE of the flashy,political presentations that fill every newscast you see today.
Mr.Cronkite was like a member of our family. We RESPECTED and TRUSTED his newscasts.
We were SORRY to see him have to end his newscast every night.

I watched his YOU ARE THERE series every week. He was SUPERB .

A broadcasting era ICON .

We LOVED him.

Mr.Cronkite will BE GREATLY MISSED by us.

Eric Kohler

American icon

The word “icon” is thrown around a lot these days, but I can think of no one to whom it better applies than Walter. With his passing, we are reminded that he was THE icon, not just in his field, but transcending beyond. I am among those who grew up in the Age of Cronkite and distinctly remember so many of the events he brought into our homes. One of those was the first landing on the moon, over which Walter unashamedly shared his joy over the culmination of the space program he so adored. Ironically, his death came on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s flight to its lunar destiny.

So imagine the opportunity to meet and chat with this man who on the one hand—-because of his nightly visits into my living room—-seemed like a member of the family, but on the other hand was practically American royalty. Indescribable. Yet his ability to set you at ease made it seem like you were simply speaking with an old friend.

Why does Walter’s passing touch so many so deeply? Not just because of his iconic status, but because he represented so much of what is good in us. Yes, as a journalist, he wrote the book on the standards we continue to strive for. For that, he deservedly earned the label “the most trusted man in America.” But he also earned that because of his basic humanity, decency, integrity, and professionalism—-qualities that were readily apparent not just through television, but also outside the studio, including during his visits to ASU. At his core, I believe, Walter was a teacher who loved to share, and whose “students” eagerly awaited and absorbed his wisdom. That, I believe, is part of Walter’s legacy—-America’s teacher. Goodbye, old friend.

Mr. Cronkite

Walter Cronkite was our ‘fatherhood.’ In a real sense, he was one of the last few voices of reason that connected all the way back to the founders of the nation. As sort of a modern day ‘Ben Franklin,’ he tried to help us maintain our common sense in the midst of social madness. Though only a journalist, he tried to shield and direct us to safety when the bullets rained from Viet Nam to Dallas.

He epitomized what a news anchor should be, an upholder of the fourth estate. He practiced the institution of journalism like he knew it was our most important branch of government. He knew that without it we could never claim to be fair, balanced or free.

Mr. Cronkite was the newsperson’s newsman. He picked up the mantle from those who guarded our democracy and carried it with dignified grace and elevation. In the true spirit of Fredrick Douglas and Edward R. Morrow, he knew it was more than a story – it was the constitution he defended.

He had the courage to usher us through the sickness of racism to the light of civil rights. He opened the door, not only for Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, but for Max Robinson and Heraldo Rivera.

He understood that journalism was a blue collar profession and if you wanted the story, you had to sometimes crawl on you stomach on the battle field or through urban sewers to illuminate the problems that needed to be fixed in society.

From the petty criminal on the corner, to the high and mighty tyrant, he showed no favor. He had the ethical fortitude, not to drink the kool-aid of corporatism. He fought to keep the press alive and had the courage to past the word to a new generation.

Prayers to his family.

two world

It is unfortunate that i came to know about Walter Cronkite when he is no more. it proves that the fastest digital world is yet to cover the gap between the two different world.

As a student of the Walter

As a student of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Uncle Walter was more than just a newscaster - he’s my friend, colleague, mentor, namesake and guiding force. He’s someone who was popular before I was born, but he has still touched me more than any newscaster has. If I can take one thing from Walter Cronkite’s legacy it will be his drive for honest and pure journalism. His voice captured his audience in a way that was so much more powerful and personable than anyone past or present. Walter Cronkite always stayed true to himself with a strong work ethic and wonderful visions and goals. Cronkite set the standard for excellence in his field that will always be admired.

If we can take the daily truth-telling values that Cronkite embedded in our minds, we will continue to evolve journalism from where Cronkite left off. Rest in peace Uncle Walter. Your legacy has a permanent spot in my heart.

Read more:

A Truly Great Journalist

I am too young to have any recollection of Mr. Cronkite's days as a prominent television journalist, but having seen Mr. Cronkite in action through the many video recordings over the years, he was one of the first person that I look up to: a man who brings the news to many people across the country, if not the world. The methods of delivering news, as well as the ethics of newsgathering might have changed over time, but the raison d'etre for a journalist, as defined by Mr. Cronkite, remains unchanged.

In his ethics class, Dr. Bill Silcock of this school taught everyone what Mr. Cronkite advocated: that we, as journalists, must be skeptical, but never cynical, for it deadens the approach to the truth. Such great lessons can only come from a person who is truly dedicated to this very industry.

The world may never see another journalist like Mr. Cronkite again, but the Cronkite School will, as it has always done, teach its students the fundamental values that made Mr. Cronkite a journalist for the ages.

As he said in his last newscast, old journalists never go away. Mr. Cronkite will never be forgotten.

Celebrating, more than mourning

Perhaps the subject line carries the full essence of how I feel right now. In a strange way, I don't think I'm very sad about Walter Cronkite's passing, except that the planet is a good deal less rich today, as it always is when we lose someone of such stature and achievement. The craft of journalism is far less rich, of course, with the passing of one of the last people who reached back to World War II and covered the entire American epoch. But for Walter? How do you mourn a life of such distinction and achievement, at all levels? He was a class human being who had a monumentally great life. He earned the affection and trust of a whole nation, and affected its affairs for the better. He reached the pinnacle of his profession and then some. He set standards worldwide and even gave his name to his profession in some languages. He should be the model for "retirement"; as defining as his work at CBS was, one could argue that some of his most sublime work came after the network gated him all too prematurely. (And sometimes in the most unusual places: My children, teens now, will nonetheless miss the kindly narrator of "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story.") And he lived a fine family life to a long age, and stayed robust for all but the very end of that. I'm quite sure he would have kicked my butt at tennis the whole time.

I do wish he could have reached the upcoming anniversary of the moon landing and enjoyed that. But excepting that, I frankly feel more celebratory about a life such as his. The only thing I'm sad about is how his medium's standards have deteriorated so much. Can you trust any newsperson on TV the way we all trusted Cronkite to give us the real news? The question answers itself. That's surely no fault of his -- to the end, he was weighing in on what the profession needs and walking the walk with first-person interaction with the journalists of tomorrow. I was so pleased when I found out my old friend Chris would be the dean of a journalism school with Cronkite's name on it -- not just because I was happy for a friend's achievement, but because I knew the guy with whom I'd watched Cronkite's last newscast would understand the standards that had guided his work and inspired us all. Sure enough, it's been a pleasure to see what the Cronkite School is doing -- not sitting still, creating, adapting to new modes of information processing and distribution. But the core doesn't change, and I have no doubt that Walter was also pleased with his final legacy. He surely understood as well as anyone that the best journalism will happen in new ways -- it always does, even in his day -- but also with old standards still based on truth and accuracy and telling people about the things that matter in their lives. Cronkite's standards.

No, tonight I'm mostly not sad. My heart goes out to his family, and to those who worked with him at the Cronkite School and worldwide. There's no minimizing that loss. But for myself, I lift my glass to Walter Cronkite, inspiring master of our craft, and to his amazing life -- a life to celebrate. I suspect that if we could live a quarter of his life and have a tenth of his effect on our world, we would count ourselves fortunate and more besides. But we all affect our small corners of the world, and to the extent that we can apply his standards and example in our work as journalists, we promote a legacy that will hopefully grow and thrive.

My first memories of Walter

My first memories of Walter Cronkite came from that tiny TV set propped up on the green milk crate right behind the checkout counter at my parent's grocery store in Phoenix. As a kid, my parents and siblings watched the evening news with "The Most Trusted Man in America" in between and while serving our customers. And if business was good that day, the shoppers waiting in line received the news from Mr. Cronkite as well.

I was impressed with his deep, authoritative voice and distinctive delivery. As I grew to know him better through my studies, up-close observations and experiences at the Cronkite School, Mr. Cronkite made a bigger impression than hearing his booming voice on TV. I felt his deep passion for integrity-based information gathering and his emphasis to strive for excellence in reporting/presenting news. Even though he was an American icon, I saw how he treated all people with respect. I witnessed his good-nature and grandfatherly relationship with our college students.

Walter Cronkite set the standard for excellence in journalism. Students and professional journalists around the world who uphold Mr. Cronkite's journalistic values are his legacy.

Goodbye, Walter Cronkite

You will be missed.

That's The Way He Was...

Walter Cronkite was the greatest news anchor/journalist. No one will ever
replace him, ever. He was such a cute man. I'll miss you Uncle Walter.
Rest in peace, you will always be remembered by me.

A great journalist

I grew up in an era when Walter Cronkite told us that's the way it was. It usually was, and he and his CBS News team earned a nation's trust.

Many people think of the Kennedy assassination when they remember Cronkite -- his moment of visible pain after announcing the president's death. It was, indeed, one of those moments that stays forever in one's mind and heart.

I prefer to think of him from the day that brought the greatest joy to an American generation: the first moon landing in 1969. Like so many others, I was watching CBS. The landing was a closer call than most of us knew at the time. Clearly, in retrospect, Cronkite understood how close the lander came to running out of fuel. The relief and happiness on his face after the Eagle settled onto the moon's surface was a great moment, helped along by a great journalist.

Walter Cronkite was, as we all are, partly a product of his own times. There won't be -- there can't be in a media ecosystem like the one we're creating -- another like him.

I was privileged to Chair the

I was privileged to Chair the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees in 1998-99 in support of the Cronkite School. During my tenure we held the first, and only, dinner in New York City in honor of Walter. I was fascinated to see that despite the fact that he had been off prime time air for over 15 years, he was still a "star" in New York. Many celebrities turned out to honor him, but he was clear that he never thought that true journalists should be "celebrities". His integrity was never compromised, nor was his passion for truth ever dulled. He will be missed. Susan Bitter Smith

Goodbye friend

Walter Cronkite was and will always be journalism’s gold standard. He embodied – better than anyone before him or since – the very best attributes of great journalism: accuracy, objectivity, fairness, truth-telling. For the past 25 years, Walter served as the intellectual and inspirational guiding light for the school that so proudly bears his name. The Cronkite School’s foundation is built on Walter’s journalistic values and personal integrity. One of the great pleasures in my life has been watching Walter together with his students. Though separated by generations, the bonds are deep and real. Walter told a group of Cronkite students during his last visit to campus how much he cherished them and the school. And they knew he meant it, because they felt the same way. We lost today not only a great journalist, but a great man and a dear friend. The faculty, students, staff, board and supporters of the Cronkite School will all miss him deeply. But if we – through our teaching of the next generation of journalists – hold dear each and every day the values of integrity, objectivity and truth-telling that Walter embodied, then we will provide Walter the kind of permanent legacy that he so richly deserves.

Chris Callahan, dean, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arizona State University

On behalf of Andrew Leckey

One of my personal joys was the opportunity, first when I was a fellow at Columbia University's Media Studies Center and later as Reynolds Center director, to have thoughtful discussions with Walter. His interest and enthusiasm for the Reynolds Center's goals and business journalism were energizing. That our Reynolds Foundation friends also had time with Walter was also outstanding. Walter's spirit carries on - due in no small part to Dean Chris Callahan's careful and energetic handling of our mentor's inestimable legacy for journalism. Asking what Walter would do remains a valid question for even the youngest aspiring journalist in a difficult new media environment.
Andrew Leckey

Thanks, Walter...

...for all the inspiration you gave to me as a young journalist who continues to evolve. The school you left behind is a monument, but the students you inspired are a legacy. Thanks for being the example for all of us youngsters to follow.

Thank You Walter

For me as well. Thanks Walter .

Goodbye "Uncle Walter"

I grew up watching Walter Cronkite every evening with my mother. He was the epitome of journalism
excellence. When I started the Journalism and Broadcasting program at ASU it was not yet named for
Mr. Cronkite, but I proudly tell people I graduated from the Walter Cronkite School. He was a great
man and a great journalist and he will be missed very much.

Memories of the most trusted man.

I wrote this column for tomorrow's Cincinnati Enquirer recounting my his work over the years and at the Cronkite school.

ASU's Kristin Gilger and former student Meagan Pollnow are quoted. He was a great American.

Mr. Cronkite you will be missed. You already are.

By the time I remember watching the news, Mr. Cronkite was no longer anchoring a nightly newscast. Yet I always knew who he was and that he was someone to be respected. I think that illustrates what a tremendous effect he had not just on the field journalism but also on the American people in general. I am proud to work at the school that bears his name. I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Cronkite several times, and although he had high expectations to live up to, he never disappointed. He was a wonderfully thoughful, intelligent, gracious man. He will be missed.

Walter Cronkite

I never had the opportunity to meet Walter Cronkite but I am so honored to be apart of the school that was named after him and be apart of Cronkite Village. I hope to be at least half as great of a journalist as he was. His name will forever be associated with the best that journalism can be. His memory will live on and inspire those, like me, to strive be the most honest journalist that we can be. Thank you Walter Cronkite for all that you did.


Mr. Cronkite, you and your journalism will be remembered. My thoughts and best wishes go out to your family and close friends.

I had the good fortune to

I had the good fortune to work as an assistant to Walter Cronkite from September, 1963, until June, 1973. Walter was the most interesting person I have ever known. I was so grateful and proud to be associated with him and to be able to call him my friend all these years. He made you want to be the best you could possibly be when you were around him. He was always kind and willing to listen to me, to share his stories and adventures. I could tell him anything and he would patiently listen, making me feel that what I had to say was important. He and his wife, Betsy, made me feel like I was part of their family. I loved him very much and hold him in my heart. Rest in peace my dear friend.

Always a competitor

Mr. Cronkite was supremely down to earth and approachable. When I had a chance to meet him during my Associated Press career and later as a Cronkite School faculty member who'd worked for AP, he'd remind me pointedly that he'd worked for UPI, AP's rival in the days of intense wire service competition. Then he'd share stories about the joys and headaches of working for the wire service -- and solicit my stories -- as if we'd just finished a shift on the news desk. I had a feeling that his days starting out as a newspaper and wire service reporter might have been his fondest, despite all that he accomplished on the air.

Steve Elliott
Professor of Practice/Cronkite News Service
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Walter - always a reporter.

When I met Walter Cronkite for the first time in 2008, I had a list of questions ready to ask him. But as soon as walked up to shake his hand he started asking me all of the questions. Mr. Cronkite wanted to know where I was from, what subjects I was focusing on at the Cronkite School, what type of reporting I'd like to do and where I'd like to work. I told him I spoke Spanish and would like to report in Latin America and he said "That's a smart move kid. Spanish is where it's at now." So even at 90 years old, the reporter in him had never gone away.

A photo from the meet and greet:

Tribute to a HERO

Walter Cronkite
Professional, dedicated, honest, unbiased, AMERICAN HERO!!
These words describe a man who told the news to millions every night. I remember watching the CBS evening news at dinner and the special occasions such as Appolo 11. He covered the big stories and presented them in a way and with the tone of voice that conveyed courage, integrity and honesty. He covered Mercury, Gemini and the Appolo spaceflights. He spawned the imagination of myself and others to explore the "what if I did this....". It has caused me to set standards, high standards for myself and to expect the same from my kids and now the grandchildren. His interviews were tough, focused and hardhitting. He covered the assignments with the eye for facts, not conjecture, truth not someones opinion, balanced for all points of view even if unpleasent.
Walter Cronkite will be missed, as he has been missed from the news forever. He joined the history books of journalists who work without biased, without prejudice. He has set the standards for news anchors that has never, except for his equal Peter Jennings, been mached.

Rest In Peace Walter
This citizen has not forgotten you and will remember you forever with a prayer.

While I recall Walter's

While I recall Walter's coverage of the death of John Kennedy and Walter's jubilation at the landing of man on the moon, I especially recall how Walter kept an entire country calm for the three-day drama of Apollo 13. The collective national fear that we might lose three astronauts into space and the tension of waiting, minute by minute, for any news of their return could have erupted into a condemnation of NASA. It turned out to be NASA's finest hour and perhaps Walter's, as well.

My Condolences to his Family

I met Walter Cronkite briefly in 1997 on Martha's Vinyard when I was visiting with his neighbor--who simply introduced him as "Walter." As I watched him raise the flag in his yard I wondered why he looked so familiar! What a charming, handsome man. Meeting him was a great honor.

The last good man standing

The last voice of true journalism is now silent, but his memory and influence will never be silenced. In my life, he gave voice to my grief when John Kennedy was assassinated. He gave voice to pride when the U.S. landed on the moon. Daily, he gave voice to what was really important in our lives. He reported without bias, yet with complete honesty - a balance only Walter Cronkite could manage. While he might show the human emotions so common to mankind, he never sacrificed the sanctity of truth for the shallowness of sensationalism. He never told us what we had heard, only that which we needed to listen for. He never told us what to think, only what we should think about. Walter Cronkite's passing leaves a huge void in our world, in our community, and in my soul.

Walter Cronkite's death

I was one of the lucky one's to have met Mr. Cronkite. In 1957 I was a young man in the Air Force stationed at Andrews Air Force Base near D.C.. Walter Cronkite and the CBS crew came to Andrews to broadcast the Armed Forces Day celebration. I was in the Information Services Office and was assigned to Mr. Cronkite - to take care of his every need. I was at his side for about a week. I am here to tell you that he was everything people say about him. A perfect gentleman. He treated me as an old friend, as he did everyone we met during that week. I was on the reviewing stand with him during the telecast in which he described an aerial refueling demonstration (new at the time) as well as a show of the Air Force's equipment and talents. He was a man endelibly etched in my mind, and to this day I have a tremendous respect for this man. Rest in Peace Mr. Cronkite.

RIP Walter Cronkite

Walter, Thank you for your integrity and years of journalism at it's finest. There will never be another. My thoughts are with your family and the CBS news organization. Rest in Peace.

this guy was everything you'd

this guy was everything you'd hope to be, total integrity; far bigger loss as far as i am concerned than michael jackson

rip walter, and thank you