Walter Cronkite, the news anchor revered as the most trusted man in America, has died at the age of 92.
During his 19 years as CBS Evening News host, Cronkite broke the biggest stories to Americans, most famously fighting back tears to announce the assassination of President Kennedy.
The man affectionately known as Uncle Walt also excitedly reported on the first moon landing in 1969 and devoted unprecedented extended reports on the Watergate scandal, according to The New York Times.
Such was Cronkite’s stature he was claimed to have influenced world leaders, despite his reluctance to editorialise. Cronkite’s interviews with the heads of Egypt and Israel in 1977 were credited with helping to open up peace talks between the old foes, reported The Times.
President Johnson upon hearing Cronkite describe Vietnam as a stalemate in a report in 1968 was alleged to have said: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America”, noted the BBC. Johnson announced two weeks later he would not stand for re-election.
At the height of Cronkite’s popularity, over 70 million Americans would regularly hear him sign off his nightly CBS broadcast with the phrase: “And that’s the way it is”, The Times said.
Cronkite, a father of three, died in his New York home on Friday due to complications related to dementia.