I'm old enough to remember Walter Cronkite on our television through crisis after crisis, providing reassurance that someone was there every evening who could be trusted to make sense of a chaotic world. The term "anchor" was coined specifically for Cronkite and all the anchors who have come since have lived in his shadow. It is unlikely that any will ever match his level of popularity or match his skill in personalizing the news.
Cronkite's broadcast career as the anchor of CBS News coincided with some of the most dramatic moments of history and his presentation of those events gave him a special place as the one figure who tied together the high and low points of the 1960s and 1970s with a single, coherent and reliable voice.
Through riots and assassinations and moon landings and wars and Watergate, Cronkite was there and his homely presence made the horrific more bearable and the glorious more accessible. Cronkite was the filter through which a generation faced the news and discovered the world and more than any other newsman he was literally loved by his viewers. I know my view of the news and of the events of my youth were profoundly influenced by his newscasts. It wasn't news until Cronkite reported it.
The rest is better said in his own words…
That's the way it was. Walter Cronkite passed away on Friday at the age of 92.