FACTBOX: Facts about CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite

Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:44pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Facts about former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, who died Friday in New York at age 92.

* Cronkite was the anchor of the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 until 1981. He became so influential in the role that when he began to question the U.S. war in Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."

* Cronkite was especially interested in the U.S. space program and told an interviewer that Apollo 11's moon landing was the only time he was ever left speechless. "What I said was, 'Gosh! Wow! Gee!' -- immortal words obviously," he said.

* Before joining CBS, Cronkite covered many major battles of World War Two for United Press. He parachuted into the Netherlands with the 101st Airborne Division and landed with Allied troops at Normandy as part of the D-Day Invasion.

* In an April 2006 interview with CNN, Cronkite admitted he was a bit jealous that Katie Couric was getting about $15 million per year to take his old CBS anchor job. Cronkite said he made less than $1 million a year in the job but that it was a "very satisfactory salary" at the time.

* Cronkite, a college dropout, was an occasional "quiz authority" on the game show "Two for the Money" during the 1955-56 television season.

* Cronkite's first news job was selling the Kansas City Star newspaper. A few years later he was sports editor of his high school newspaper in Houston.

(Reporting by Bill Trott; editing by Doina Chiacu)