'A wire-service reporter at heart'

July 24, 2009 at 12:58 AM
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NEW YORK, July 24 (UPI) -- Walter Cronkite, the pioneering television network anchorman, was remembered Thursday at an invitation-only funeral in New York as primarily a reporter.

Cronkite's son, Chip, told the crowd packed in St. Bartholomew's Church his father described himself as a reporter "who just ended up reporting bigger and bigger stories," The New York Times said.

Cronkite died July 17 at 92.

While he became one of television's great news stars, one television producer said Cronkite was true to his roots. After a series of radio jobs, he joined United Press in 1937 and moved to CBS in 1950.

"He was always a wire service reporter in his heart," said Sanford Socolow, one of Cronkite's executive producers.

Socolow said Cronkite lived by the wire service motto, "Get it first, but first get it right."

Cronkite had quirks, Socolow said. One experiment, ad-libbing during newscasts, lasted two days, and staff members every January would tutor him in the pronunciation of February.

Friends also remembered a man who loved sailing and music, and enjoying leisurely trips along the New England coast.

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