Walter Cronkite was one of the first broadcast journalists on American television. Before his death in 2009, he was popularly known as the anchorman and managing editor of the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981. Cronkite’s manner of communication and high journalistic standards made him a reliable figure to all American viewers. His popular nicknames include “Old Iron pants,” “Uncle Walter” and “King of the anchormen.” Cronkite is also popular for his departing catchphrase, “And that’s the way it is,” followed by the date of the broadcast. This article is written in remembrance of the life of Walter Cronkite, who was born on November 4, 1916.
The Childhood of Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite was born on November 4, 1916, in St. Joseph, Missouri. He was the only child of his parents. Cronkite spent the first ten years of his life in Kansas City after which his family moved to Texas for a dentistry job his dad secured.
Walter Cronkite and his family gather around the piano at Christmas to sing. (Photo by Genevieve Naylor/Corbis via Getty Images)
Growing up, he was known to be curious and observant of his surroundings. Cronkite studied encyclopedias and would always record his daily observations in a notebook. His childhood wasn’t rosy as he had to work many odd jobs to make extra money. Cronkite’s father became an alcoholic in 1929 when the great depression had just set in. The lack of money forced his family to eat dog food.