US TV news legend Walter Cronkite, dubbed “the most trusted man in America” for his calm and honest delivery during a tumultuous period in US history, has died in New York at the age of 92, his former employer announced.
Cronkite presented the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981. During that time he delivered the news on civil rights unrest, the assassination of US president John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the moon landing, the Cold War and the Watergate scandal that toppled president Richard Nixon.
Cronkite’s period as a news anchor coincided with a time when television reigned supreme as the dominant media in the US, and three broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — ruled the airwaves.
“It is impossible to imagine CBS News, journalism or indeed America without Walter Cronkite,” CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus said in a statement.
“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,” McManus said.
The esteem that Americans had for Cronkite was highlighted in a 1972 opinion poll that found him more trusted than any politician, religious leader or sports hero.
The former CBS anchor died in his New York home on Friday surrounded by relatives, CBS said, without giving the cause of death. The Washington Post, quoting relatives, reported that for years Cronkite had been suffering from cerebrovascular disease.