Signing off: Walter Cronkite in his New York City office before his final newscast as CBS anchor, on March 6, 1981.
One of the news industry’s longest-living legends, Walter Cronkite, died of cerebrovascular disease Friday at the age of 92. Over the course of his storied career as the anchor of CBS News, Cronkite covered some of the biggest events of the 20th century. He himself coined his famous and often-quoted sign-off line: “And that’s the way it is. ... ”
He anchored “The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite” from 1962-81 and ushered Americans through some of the most tumultuous and trying times of the last century, from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy through the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. His daily signoff “And that’s the way it is…” became a trademark and of the most-oft repeat, and often spoofed, quotes.
In the decades after retiring from the CBS newscast, Cronkite sought to use his fame and sterling reputation to promote journalistic integrity in an era marked by cost-cutting at network news divisions and the rise of tabloid coverage in mainstream media. In 2000 he partnered with USC’s Annenberg Norman Lear Center to launch the annual Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.