He was the most trusted man in America, the man whose popularity outstripped the presidents he covered and whose presence seemed to steady a nation when it endured Vietnam and other difficult times.
Walter Cronkite was the anchorman and managing editor of the CBS Evening News but he was clearly much more than that. His death July 17, 2009 reminded America of the void that has existed ever since he left TV.
Here are some milestones from his life:
November 4, 1916. Walter born in St. Joseph, Missouri to Dr. Walter Cronkite and Lena Fritsch. His father was a dentist, his mother a housewife.
1939. Went to work for United Press news service as a correspondent.
1944. He landed with allied troops in North Africa and was with the Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge.
1950. Cronkite joins CBS news and helps develop the news department of the new television station in Washington, D.C.
1952. Cronkite headed coverage of the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions.
1953. Anchors the series “You Are There.” The series is on for four years.
1940. Cronkite marries Betsy Maxwell, who bared three children: Nancy, Kathy and Walter III.
1956. Anchors the Democratic and Republican conventions.
1957. Host the series The Twentieth Century and then the Twenty-First Century, which stays on air until 1970.
1960. Anchors the Democratic and Republic conventions.
1963. Cronkite is the first to report President John F. Kennedy’s death. His emotional breakdown sets a tone for all Americans.
1968. Cronkite delivers a decisive and uncharacteristic opinion of the Vietnam War, advising that America withdraw troops.
1969. Delivers career-best ratings with historic coverage of Apollo 11, the first space mission to land on the moon, with Apollo 13 following.
1977. Through the uncertainty of the 70s, Cronkite continues to deliver hard-hitting interviews with heads of state like Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
1981. Cronkite departs The CBS Evening News, succeeded by Dan Rather.
1985. The distinguished anchorman takes the role of host at the yearly Vienna New Year’s Concert.
1993. Cronkite begins a stint as a prolific producer for the Public Broadcasting System.
2005: Betsy passes away, after nearly 65 years of marriage with Cronkite.
2009. Cronkite passes.
(Photo: Getty Images)