Friends, Colleagues Share Memories Of Walter Cronkite

Following the news of Walter Cronkite’s death on Friday at the age of 92, friends, colleagues and admirers of the legendary newsman shared their memories and their thoughts on his passing.

“He was the most important voice in our lives for 30 years And that voice made people reach for the stars. I hate the world without Walter Cronkite.” -- George Clooney

***

“For decades, Walter Cronkite was the most trusted voice in America. His rich baritone reached millions of living rooms every night. And in an industry of icons, Walter set the standard by which all others have been judged. He was there through wars and riots, marches and milestones – calmly telling us what we needed to know. And through it all, he never lost the integrity he gained growing up in the heartland.

“But Walter was always more than just an anchor. He was someone we could trust to guide us through the most important issues of the day. A voice of certainty in an uncertain world. He was family.

“In an era before blogs and e-mail, cell phones and cable, he was the news. Walter invited us to believe in him and he never let us down. This country has lost an icon and dear friend. And he will be truly missed.” – President Barack Obama

***

“There never was and there never will be another Walter Cronkite. We trusted him and that trust was well founded. He was also a jolly and supportive friend. He will be missed by each of us individually who knew him and by the whole country who loved him.” -- ABC News anchor Barbara Walters

***

“I’ve been proud over the years to see Walter become, not just one of the best known people on television but one of the best known people in the whole world of people. He was proud of me, too and there’s no better feeling in life than that. I wouldn’t trade Walter Cronkite liking me for just about anything I’ve ever had.” – “60 Minutes” veteran newsman Andy Rooney

***

“He was the defining anchor of America’s story – reminding us of what we can be at our best. He had depth, foreign reporting experience, endless excitement about the news, and an irresistible irreverence. A call, a note, a compliment from Walter was pretty much the Nobel Prize for a young reporter. I am so lucky to know what it was to be part of the Cronkite team.” -- ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer

***

“When I think of Walter Cronkite, I think of his high journalism standards, integrity – but most of all his humanity. I think he was so trusted because he exhibited a sense of purpose and compassion, night after night. He was the personification of excellence.” --
Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor, “CBS Evening News”

***

“America has lost an icon, our industry has lost its living giant, and all those who learned about the world from Walter Cronkite have lost an exceptional teacher.

“He loved his country and had a profound effect on it. He told us the truth in a plain-spoken manner. He never forgot that he was one of us, and yet we admired him so. That’s why I can’t help but fear that his loss means we’ve lost a tiny bit of who we are. He was a founding father of our profession. Others had done the job before him, and yet no one before or since has had just a mystical hold on the American people. He perfectly reflected his audience and our times. Watching Walter do what he did — better than anyone — was a formative experience. While he was deeply uncomfortable with overstatements of his own importance, those of us watching at home were so comfortable knowing he was in that chair during those years of great change and upheaval.

“To use the terminology of his beloved sailboat, he was our national barometer, our compass and our rudder. With Walter at the helm of that broadcast, we knew we would sail through whatever crisis we faced as a country. He always seemed to point the wheel, with a gust of wind in his sails, toward our collective North Star.

“On a personal note, Walter Cronkite was the man I grew up wanting to be. Our household, like many, came to a halt when his broadcast came on the air each night, and dinner was served only after he said good night. Knowing Walter was among the great blessings of my life.” – NBC News anchor Brian Williams

***

“Walter Cronkite was and always will be the gold standard. His objectivity, his even-handedness, his news judgment are all great examples. He, as much as anyone, is responsible for developing network television news. He set the standard. He told it ‘the way it is’ and all of us who are privileged to work in this business owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.” -- ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson

***

“It is impossible to imagine CBS News, journalism or indeed America without Walter Cronkite. More than just the best and most trusted anchor in history, he guided America through our crises, tragedies and also our victories and greatest moments.” -- CBS News president Sean McManus

***

“We were proud to work with him – for him – we loved him.” – “60 Minutes” correspondent Mike Wallace

***

“It is with enormous sadness that we mark the death of Walter Cronkite. His passing is, of course, a major loss for journalism. He was a great broadcaster and a gentleman whose experience, honesty, professionalism and style defined the role of anchor and commentator. For almost two exciting and turbulent decades during the 1960s and 1970s he helped inform our nation, and bring us together. In so doing, he transcended his field to become the most trusted man in America. The legacy he left us all will endure. It was one of the great honors of my career to have had the opportunity to know him.” -- Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation

***

“Walter Cronkite set an example for all broadcast journalism by simply doing his best to tell us the truth about things that matter, with courage and without partisanship. We will miss him, but will seek to keep his spirit alive by following his example.” -- ABC News President David Westin

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.