Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009) was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–81). During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll. Although he reported many events from 1937 to 1981, including bombing in World War II, the Nuremberg trials, combat in the Vietnam War, the death of President John F. Kennedy, the death of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr., Watergate, and the Iran Hostage Crisis, he was known for extensive TV coverage of the U.S. space program, from Project Mercury to the Moon landings to the Space Shuttle. He was the only non-NASA recipient of a Moon-rock award. Cronkite is well known for his departing catchphrase "And that's the way it is," followed by the date on which the appearance is aired.
Cronkite was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the son of Helen Lena (née Fritsche, August 1892 - November 1993) and Dr. Walter Leland Cronkite (September 1893 - May 1973), a dentist. He had remote Dutch ancestry on his father's side, the family surname originally being Krankheyt.
Cronkite lived in Kansas City, Missouri, until he was ten, when his family moved to Houston, Texas. He attended junior high school at Lanier Junior High School (now Lanier Middle School) and high school at San Jacinto High School, where he edited the high school newspaper. He was a member of the Boy Scouts. He attended college at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), entering in the Fall term of 1933, where he worked on the Daily Texan and became a member of the Nu chapter of the Chi Phi Fraternity. He also was a member of the Houston chapter of DeMolay, a Masonic fraternal organization for boys. While attending UT, Cronkite had his first taste of performance, appearing in a play with fellow students Eli Wallach and Ann Sheridan.