19 Jul 2009

Death of CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite

5:41 am on 19 July 2009

Walter Cronkite has died in New York at the age of 92. He was reported to have been ill for some time.

The American journalist was best known as the anchorman for CBS News.

CBS says Cronkite's authoritative delivery of the news during turbulent times in the 1960s - 1970s made him "the most trusted man in America."

Cronkite joined CBS as a television correspondent in 1950 and anchored the CBS Evening News from 1962 - 1981, when television was the dominant media in the United States.

He reported on everything from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to the Apollo space programme, the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

He ended his broadcasts with a signature sign-off: "That's the way it is."

Cronkite retired in 1981 and was replaced by Dan Rather.

Before joining CBS, Cronkite covered many major battles of World War II for United Press.

He parachuted into the Netherlands with the 101st Airborne Division and landed with Allied troops at Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion.

His first news job was selling the Kansas City Star newspaper. A few years later he was sports editor of his high school newspaper in Houston.

In an April 2006 interview with CNN, Cronkite admitted he was a bit jealous that Katie Couric was getting about $US15 million per year to do his old job at CBS.

Cronkite said he made less than $US1 million a year in the position, but that it was a "very satisfactory salary" at the time.