Walter Cronkite: A transformative figure in American journalism

In 1950, when Edward R. Murrow convinced Walter Cronkite to join CBS News, the television news industry was still in its infancy. Nineteen years later, Cronkite left the network's anchor desk as one of the most trusted names in America and the primary news source for millions of Americans.

When Cronkite came to television, he brought with him a journalistic reputation and personal respectability that the medium desperately needed. A newsman since 1935, he distinguished himself through his coverage of World War II. Embedded with the 101 Airborne unit, he covered the harrowing Operation Market-Garden landing in the Netherlands, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Nuremberg trials. After the war, he stuck with United Press, becoming the company's main reporter in Moscow.