CBS News is honoring legendary newsman Walter Cronkite, who died
July 17 at age 92, with That's The Way It Was: Remembering Walter Cronkite, a special airing
Sunday, July 19 at 7 p.m. ET.
CBS News producers have been working on the special in
earnest since Cronkite's health took a turn for the worse last month. It
includes remembrances from a long list of television news luminaries, including
Tom Brokaw, Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson, Ted Koppel, Brian Williams,
Katie Couric and Cronkite's CBS News colleagues Mike Wallace, Morley
Safer, Don Hewitt and Andy Rooney.
Prominent voices from the worlds of politics and
entertainment also weigh in.
"He brought us
all those stories large and small which would come to define the 20th
century," says President Barack Obama. "That's why we love Walter,
because in an era before blogs and e-mail cell phones and cable, he was the
news. Walter invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down."
drummer Mickey Hart calls Cronkite a "freedom fighter." Cronkite,
says actor and comedian Robin Williams, "was a man of integrity when we really
needed it." And former President Bill Clinton says, "The passing of
the years did not diminish--as nearly as I could tell, one iot--his interest in
and love for his country and his desire to see the world get better."
A native of Missouri,
Cronkite began his career as a battlefield correspondent during World War II.
He was recruited to come to CBS by Edward R. Murrow and began anchoring The
CBS Evening News in 1962, when the newscast was still a 15-minute program.
It went to a half-hour in 1963.
He tearfully delivered the news of John F. Kennedy's death
to the nation and was no less emotional when relaying the news of the
assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
His questioning of the war in Vietnam was significant. Following
one editorial that claimed the Tet Offensive was not winnable, President
Johnson reportedly said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle
Two years ago, CBS News executives asked Cronkite to record
the introduction to the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
The network will retire Cronkite's introduction.