Walter Cronkite

Radio and Television Journalist


Dutch American Heritage Award 1995 Recipient

Long before the “First Salute”, on November 16, 1776, Walter Cronkite”s ancestor Herx Siboutzen Krankheijdt from Friesland married Wijntje Theunis from Naarden. The ceremony took place in 1642 in the old Dutch Reformed Church of the original New Amsterdam colony.

At the end of the Second World War, Walter Cronkite set foot on Dutch soil for the first time when he stepped out of a crash glider. “The Dutch people were marvelous, individually, and very friendly… I felt like “coming home” after 300 years. To the Dutch it didn”t matter whether you were of Dutch ancestry or American, I felt at home.”

Walter Cronkite has covered virtually every major news event during his 60 years in journalism – the last 45 affiliated with CBS News. He became a Special Correspondent for CBS News on March 6. 1981, when he stepped down as anchorman and managing editor of the CBS evening news after nearly 19 years in that role.

Mr. Cronkite joined CBS news in Washington as a correspondent in July 1950. On September 2, 1963, the evening news became network television”s first half-hour weeknight news broadcast; its debut featured Mr. Cronkite”s headline-making interview with President John F. Kennedy.

Upon his departure from the nightly news broadcast, Mr. Cronkite”s contributions to broadcast news and to journalism were lauded in newspapers and magazines throughout the world. Among the observations made by writers in their tributes to the CBS newsman were; “He established a remarkable trust and admiration in his audience…”, “His important contribution was to build and sustain the integrity of the network newscast, and the threats to that legacy are not now strong enough to prevail…”, “He never discarded his concern for keeping the news straight…”, “He maintained a steady standard of professional excellence.”

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