Walter Cronkite, who died at the age 92 on July 17, 2009, was perhaps the greatest newsman of his generation. Some mourn his passing as perhaps representing the symbolic passing of traditional journalism itself.
During his three decades (1962 – 1981) as anchor of the CBS Evening News, it was Cronkite's voice which reassured America through some of its darkest days (Vietnam, Watergate, the assassinations of two Kennedys and Martin Luther King), as well as some of its greatest triumphs (the 1969 moon landing by American astronauts). It's ironic that Cronkite's death came just days shy of the 40th anniversary of the latter.
Cronkite came to be regarded as the Most Trusted Man In America as he reported on these stories and more. He shared our joy, exclaiming "Oh Boy" at the 1969 moon landing, as well as our sadness, choking back tears when he read the wire reports that President John Kennedy had been killed in Dallas in 1963. When Cronkite, in a rare departure from his trademark newsman's objectivity, once seemed critical in a report about American strategy in Vietnam, then President Lyndon Johnson is said to have noted, "if I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."