Inducted - Monday, March 8, 1999
Sculptor: William J. Williams
Where is Walter Cronkite in the Hall of Famous Missourians?
Walter Cronkite was named the "Most Trusted Man in America" for more than half a century. Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, he moved to Kansas City and then to Houston, where he began his journalism career as a campus correspondent for the Houston Post.
Cronkite covered virtually every major news event throughout his more than 60 years in journalism. Beginning in WWII as a UP correspondent, followed by the Nuremberg Trials and then, in Moscow, where from 1946 through 1948 he served as Bureau Chief. Cronkite built a solid foundation in print journalism that prepared him to assume a central role in television news.
In 1954, he moved to New York City where he pioneered the first evening news broadcast as "anchorman", and later, Managing Editor, for the CBS Evening News. For the next three decades, he covered such history-making events as the U.S. space program; the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert Kennedy; the Watergate scandal; the hostage crisis in Iran; the Vietnam War; and conducted his landmark interviews with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin.
Among his numerous honors and awards are a special George Foster Peabody Award for his contributions to broadcast journalism, and induction into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' "Hall of Fame". In January, 1981, President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest award to a civilian. Two months later, he retired as anchor of the CBS Evening News.