Walter Cronkite died yesterday. His death won’t receive the media frenzy that Michael Jackson did — even though Walter Cronkite was much more of a man and a much more influencial and powerful individual. No one person was more trusted to present the news in a truthful unbiased manner than Walter Cronkite.
I grew up with Walter Cronkite. His face and voice was the Evening News. When he said, “and that is the way, it is”, I knew that it was. Even though he was a broadcaster and a journalist, I learned many principals from watching him that apply to my business, as well as my personal life, today.
- He was experienced but was forever learning new things.
- Even though his broadcasts were presented in a studious learned manner, his human side occasionally peaked through. Like the time tears showed in his eyes as he took off his glasses and announced the death of JFK.
- He was always in character — being who he really was — honest, reliable and someone you could depend on to tell the news the way it was and not just the way he saw it.
- As his hair grew grayer and the wrinkles formed, he used his experiences and history to teach a new generation how to avoid some of the pitfalls of previous ones.
- He was trusted because he had proven he was trustworthy.
- He didn’t depend on hype and glamour to build his reputation. It was built on strength, honesty, and dependability.
The world has lost a great man. But his imprint on this country will be around for a long time to come.