Walter Cronkite Quotes

Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr, 1917 – 2009

Born: 4 November 1916, St. Joseph, Missouri
Died: 17 July 2009, New York City

While in high school at Houston, Texas he was a cub reporter at the Houston Post, and had a paper route, possibly the only journalist to deliver his own words to subscribers. While attending the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair he participated in a demonstration of television, thus allowing him to tell other journalists that he had been on TV before any of them. He left college for a job at the Houston Press, then worked at several midwest radio stations (he met his wife Betty at KCMO at Kansas City, Missouri in 1940) before joining United Press to cover World War II. He waded ashore on D-Day, parachuted into combat, and flew bomber missions. He was UP’s lead correspondent for the Nürnberg trials, then reopened several European offices before opening and managing the Moscow office. Edward R. Murrow hired him at CBS in 1950. When he led the CBS team at the 1952 party conventions he was called the anchor, a term that is now almost universal in TV news. (In Sweden they are called “Kronkiters”, in Holland “Cronkites”.) In April of 1962 Cronkite became the anchor of the CBS Evening News, although he insisted on Managing Editor as his title, a position he held until 1981. When he returned from Vietnam after the Tet offensive of 1968 and described the war as a stalemate, President Johnson decided not to run for reelection. When the US sent men into space, Cronkite kept us up to date and kept America interested. Instead of hearing “Uncle Walter’s” baritone delivery of the news, now I get my news delivered by e-mail. “And that’s the way it is.”

Walter Cronkite quotes:

America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.
    Walter Cronkite

And that’s the way it is.
    Walter Cronkite

Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day — 23 minutes — and that’s supposed to be enough.
    Walter Cronkite

For how many thousands of years now have we humans been what we insist on calling “civilized?” And yet, in total contradiction, we also persist in the savage belief that we must occasionally, at least, settle our arguments by killing one another.
    Walter Cronkite – address at United Nations (19 October 1999)

For many years, I did my best to report on the issues of the day in as objective a manner as possible. When I had my own strong opinions, as I often did, I tried not to communicate them to my audience.
    Walter Cronkite – address at United Nations (19 October 1999)

I am a news presenter, a news broadcaster, an anchorman, a managing editor – not a commentator or analyst. I feel no compulsion to be a pundit.
    Walter Cronkite

I am dumbfounded that there hasn’t been a crackdown with the libel and slander laws on some of these would-be writers and reporters on the Internet.
    Walter Cronkite

I am in a position to speak my mind. And that is what I propose to do.
    Walter Cronkite – address at United Nations (19 October 1999)

I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.
    Walter Cronkite

I grew my mustache when I was nineteen in order to look older. I never shaved it off even though it overran its usefulness many, many years ago. Once you get started in television, people associate you with your physical appearance – and that includes the mustache. So I can’t shave it off now. If I did, I’d have to answer too much mail.
    Walter Cronkite

I regret that, in our attempt to establish some standards, we didn’t make them stick. We couldn’t find a way to pass them on to another generation, really.
    Walter Cronkite – Newseum interview (1996)

I think it is absolutely essential in a democracy to have competition in the media, a lot of competition, and we seem to be moving away from that.
    Walter Cronkite

I think somebody ought to do a survey as to how many great, important men have quit to spend time with their families who spent any more time with their family.
    Walter Cronkite

I want to say that probably 24 hours after I told CBS that I was stepping down at my 65th birthday, I was already regretting it. And I regretted it every day since.
    Walter Cronkite

I’ve gone from the most trusted man in America to one of the most debated.
    Walter Cronkite

In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.
    Walter Cronkite

Interviewing friends is a tough one. Your duty to the interview must transcend your friendship. Occasionally you’ll lose a friend.
    Walter Cronkite

It is a seldom proffered argument as to the advantages of a free press that it has a major function in keeping the government itself informed as to what the government is doing.
    Walter Cronkite

Justice was born outside the home and a long way from it; and it has never been adopted there.
    Walter Cronkite

Let us hear the peal of a new international liberty bell that calls us all to the creation of a system of enforceable world law in which the universal desire for peace can place its hope and prayers.
    Walter Cronkite – address at United Nations (19 October 1999)

Not only do we have a right to know, we have a duty to know what our Government is doing in our name. If there’s a criticism to be made today, it’s that the press isn’t doing enough to put the pressure on the government to provide information.
    Walter Cronkite

Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.
    Walter Cronkite

Our job is only to hold up the mirror – to tell and show the public what has happened.
    Walter Cronkite

Probably the most important single element that I found in my own marriage was a sense of humor. My wife had a delicious sense of humor, and I think I have an adequate one.
    Walter Cronkite

Television [is] a high-impact medium. It does some things no other force can do-transmitting electronic pictures through the air. Still, as an explored, comprehensive medium, it is not a substitute for print.
    Walter Cronkite

The first priority of humankind in this era is to establish an effective system of world law that will assure peace with justice among the peoples of the world.
    Walter Cronkite – address at United Nations (19 October 1999)

The great sadness of my life is that I never achieved the hour newscast, which would not have been twice as good as the half-hour newscast, but many times as good.
    Walter Cronkite

The perils of duck hunting are great – especially for the duck.
    Walter Cronkite

The profession of journalism ought to be about telling people what they need to know, not what they want to know.
    Walter Cronkite

There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.
    Walter Cronkite

There’s a little more ego involved in these jobs than people might realize.
    Walter Cronkite

Those advocates who work for world peace by urging a system of world government are called impractical dreamers. Those impractical dreamers are entitled to ask their critics what is so practical about war.
    Walter Cronkite – address at United Nations (19 October 1999)

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion.
    Walter Cronkite – on Vietnam (1968)

We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders.
    Walter Cronkite

We’ve got a great percentage of our population that, to our great shame, either cannot or, equally unfortunate, will not read. And that portion of our public is growing. Those people are suckers for the demagogue.
    Walter Cronkite

What Alexander Hamilton wrote about the need for law among the 13 states applies today to the approximately 200 sovereignties in our global village:
    Walter Cronkite – address at United Nations (19 October 1999)

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.
    Walter Cronkite

When the Eagle landed on the moon, I was speechless – overwhelmed, like most of the world. Couldn’t say a word. I think all I said was, “Wow! Jeez!” Not exactly immortal. Well, I was nothing if not human.
    Walter Cronkite

Would it be better to have a president who cries easily? Well, that depends on what he cried about. I would not like the thought of a president who could not cry. That would be worse than one who cried over the right things. Which, in this case, would be the things I would cry over.
    Walter Cronkite

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