***FRESH OFF THE TELETYPE***
CBS vice-president Linda Mason said Cronkite died at 7:42 p.m. ET Friday with his family by his side at his home in New York after a long illness.
A news anchor when CBS News was in its heyday, Cronkite conveyed to Americans historic events including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the landing of the first man on the moon.
He was noted for his editorial during the 1968 Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War, when he characterized the war as unwinnable.
"It is increasingly clear that the only rational way out will be to negotiate, not as victors but as an honorable people who lived up to the pledge to defend democracy," Cronkite said in that broadcast.
After hearing Cronkite’s verdict, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson is reported to have said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."
Cronkite was anchor of CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981, when he handed over the desk to Dan Rather. His nightly signoff, "And that's the way it is ..." was well-known throughout America.
He continued reporting for CBS and other networks until 2008.Cronkite first came to wider public attention as a battlefield correspondent for United Press during the Second World War, covering battles in North Africa and Europe and U.S. bombing raids on Germany. After the war, he remained in Europe to cover the Nuremberg trials.
In 1950, respected newsman Edward R. Murrow hired him as a Washington correspondent at CBS affiliate WTOP.
In 1962, he was made anchor of CBS Evening News, then a 15-minute broadcast. It became the first 30-minute network newscast the following year with Cronkite at the anchor desk. Later in his career, he said he regretted never seeing the newscast expand to an hour.
Cronkite's calm and sober style, and CBS’s reputation for in-depth journalism worked together to make him the most trusted source of news in America.
He was first on air with reports of the Kennedy assassination, breaking into As the World Turns with a live broadcast on Nov. 22, 1963, with the earliest report of the shooting. He is remembered for the personal emotion he betrayed in his first bulletin reporting the president’s death.
"At that moment I teared up — I just had a little trouble getting the words out," he said of the historic broadcast.**Source**Cronkite’s credibility and status is credited by many with pushing the Watergate story to the forefront with the American public, resulting in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.
"Nixon, to me, never seemed comfortable in the presidency. He always seemed to be acting out a rehearsed role. I thought I could see his knees knocking with stage fright," he said later of the disgraced president.
Cronkite won numerous awards for his journalism, including an Emmy, a Peabody and a 1991 Award of Excellence from the Banff Television festival.
He retired at age 65 from the news anchor job.
God damn he will be missed.