Industry remembers Walter Cronkite

CBS will air 'That's the Way It Was' special on Sunday

The biggest names in TV news, politics and entertainment share their reaction to the death of Walter Cronkite, "the most trusted man in America."

Some of them will be featured in "That's the Way It Was: Remembering Walter Cronkite," a CBS News Special, which will air Sunday at 7 p.m., pre-empting "60 Minutes."

"He brought us all those stories large and small which would come to define the 20th century. That's why we love Walter, because in an era before blogs and e-mail cell phones and cable, he was the news. Walter invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down."
President Barack Obama

"The passing of the years did not diminish as nearly as I could tell, one iota, his interest in, and love for his country and his desire to see the world get better."
President Bill Clinton

"He was the most important voice in our lives for thirty years And that voice made people reach for the stars. I hate the world without Walter Cronkite."
George Clooney

"He was a man of integrity at a time when we needed it. At a time when we still need it. A man, a legacy of someone who believes in the first amendment as being one of the prime directives of democracy, but also of civilization. The idea of speaking out, and speaking directly."
Robin Williams

"He was a great broadcaster and a gentleman whose experience, honesty, professionalism and style defined the role of anchor and commentator. For almost two exciting and turbulent decades during the 1960s and 1970s he helped inform our nation, and bring us together. It was one of the great honors of my career to have had the opportunity to know him."
Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. president and CEO

"Walter Cronkite not only anchored a newscast, he anchored the nation during perilous times that included the assassination of a president and the resignation of another as well as a divisive war and the culture clash that followed. He was America's Uncle Walter, and for three decades he was the most trusted name in news."
Jon Klein, president of CNN/US

"Walter Cronkite was one of a kind. He was the trusted voice that brought us together every night and the voice that held us together in dark days. He personified the highest journalistic standard, and I don't think we'll ever see another like him."
Larry King, CNN

"When I think of Walter Cronkite, I think of his high journalism standards, integrity -- but most of all his humanity. I think he was so trusted because he exhibited a sense of purpose and compassion, night after night. He was the personification of excellence."
Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor, "CBS Evening News"

"Walter got early on that this job is part hand holding, so that all of us in this line of work -- who on days like 9/11 have been forced into any kind of explanatory role -- Walter is with you whether you see him in the studio or not!"
Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor, "NBC Nightly News"

"Walter Cronkite was and always will be the gold standard. His objectivity, his even-handedness, his news judgment are all great examples. He, as much as anyone, is responsible for developing network television news. He told it ‘the way it is' and all of us who are privileged to work in this business owe him an enormous debt of gratitude."
ABC News anchor Charles Gibson

"He was the defining anchor of America's story -- reminding us of what we can be at our best.
A call, a note, a compliment from Walter was pretty much the Nobel Prize for a young reporter. I am so lucky to know what it was to be part of the Cronkite team."
ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer

"There never was and there never will be another Walter Cronkite. We trusted him and that trust was well founded. He was also a jolly and supportive friend. He will be missed by each of us individually who knew him and by the whole country who loved him."
ABC News anchor Barbara Walters

"It is impossible to imagine CBS News, journalism or indeed America without Walter Cronkite. No matter what the news event was, Walter was always the consummate professional with an un-paralleled sense of compassion, integrity, humanity, warmth, and occasionally even humor. There will never be another figure in American history who will hold the position Walter held in our minds, our hearts and on the television."
CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus

"Walter Cronkite set an example for all broadcast journalism by simply doing his best to tell us the truth about things that matter, with courage and without partisanship. We will miss him, but will seek to keep his spirit alive by following his example."
ABC News president David Westin

"How many news organizations get the chance to bask in the sunshine of a half-century of Edward R. Murrow followed by a half century of Walter Cronkite?"
Don Hewitt, "60 Minutes" creator; Cronkite's first exec producer on "CBS Evening News"

"I've been proud over the years to see Walter become, not just one of the best known people on television but one of the best known people in the whole world of people. He was proud of me, too and there's no better feeling in life than that. I wouldn't trade Walter Cronkite liking me for just about anything I've ever had."
Andy Rooney, "60 Minutes" commentator

"Walter was truly the father of television news. The trust that viewers placed in him was based on the recognition of his fairness, honesty and strict objectivity ... and of course his long experience as a shoe-leather reporter covering everything from local politics to World War II and its aftermath in the Soviet Union. He was a giant of journalism and privately one of the funniest, happiest men I've ever known."
Morley Safer, "60 Minutes" correspondent

"I was the first woman producer on the 'CBS Evening News,' and Walter could not have been more welcoming and more professional. I remember his great enthusiasm for almost every story he touched -- from politics to space and even the good fire. Everything was new. When I had the opportunity to executive-produce a two-hour special on Cronkite as his career was winding down, I was again struck by how much he retained the common touch and how he regarded his career with wonder. I told him he was the Forrest Gump of the 20th century and he laughed."
Linda Mason, senior vp standards and special projects

"Radio and television newsrooms all over America are filled with reporters and producers, writers and editors, who got into journalism for one reason: Walter Cronkite. He was a role model for so many of us. I grew up watching Walter on television, and it was the thrill of my life to finally meet him, and a privilege to spend six years producing pieces for him for the 'CBS Evening News.' He set standards that we in broadcast journalism still strive to meet today. Walter Cronkite was, quite simply, the best."
"CBS Evening News" executive producer Rick Kaplan

"As a Washington researcher under Cronkite during Watergate, as a Washington producer for Cronkite, he pushed us all to never give up and always seek the truth. His energy and his passion were infectious. Cronkite made us all better at our jobs -- he was the spine of CBS News and we were proud to be on his team."
"48 Hours" executive producer Susan Zirinsky
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