Cronkite Remembered as 'Gold Standard' for News

One day after legendary reporter and anchorman Walter Cronkite died, colleagues and admirers are mourning the loss of "the most trusted" voice that led America through 40 years of war and peace.

President Obama reflected on Cronkite's work saying he set the standard for all other news anchors that followed.

But Morley Safer of "60 Minutes," Cronkite's colleague at CBS News, remembered Cronkite for his curiosity.

"He loved people. Walter was a remarkable guy. … That wasn't an act, believe me," Safer told ABC News' "Good Morning America." "He really was the just about the most curious man I've ever known: He wanted to know everything -- people's backgrounds, their education what they did for a living."

"It was real interest; it was genuine engagement," Safer said.

A private funeral service was scheduled for Thursday at St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan, according to Marlene Adler, his longtime chief of staff told the Associated Press.

Adler said the Rev. William Tully will preside over the Episcopal service at the Park Avenue church, which the Cronkites attended for many years.

VIDEO: Walter Cronkite dies at age 92.

A memorial is to be held within the next month in Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Adler said.

"It will be a fitting tribute to Mr. Cronkite and the life he lived, the people he knew, the people who loved him and the people he admired," said Adler, who headed Cronkite's staff for the past 20 years.

Cronkite, who anchored the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981, died of cerebral vascular disease at 7:42 p.m. ET Friday in his New York City home surrounded by his family.

She said he would be buried next to his late wife in Missouri, where the two first met.

Cronkite, who was once voted the "most trusted man in America," was 92. At the end of his career in 1985, 84 percent in a Roper Poll said he'd done an excellent or good job as CBS' longstanding anchor.

"Walter was always more than just an anchor," President Obama said Friday in a prepared statement. "He was someone we could trust to guide us through the most important issues of the day; a voice of certainty in an uncertain world. He was family. He invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down."

Cronkite became best known on CBS News during the 1960s when he established the prominent role of the television news anchorman for the network's newly expanded evening news program.

In fact, as ABC's "World News'" Charles Gibson remembers, Cronkite was an anchor before television news had really defined the role. "They had to come up with some word for it, and so they called him the anchor and that term has stuck ever since," said Gibson.

Cronkite was held in such esteem in broadcast journalism that his name became synonymous with "news anchor" around the world. In Sweden, anchors are known as Kronkiters, and in Holland they are Cronkiters.

ABC News' own "Cronkiters" mourned the their fellow news anchor.

"Walter Cronkite set an example for all broadcast journalism by simply doing his best to tell us the truth about things that matter, with courage and without partisanship," ABC News president David Westin said. "We will miss him, but will seek to keep his spirit alive by following his example."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...