There is a lot of attention being paid to the coincidence of Cronkite's death coinciding so closely to the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. That seems appropriate to me, as he was a chief cheerleader of NASA's efforts, beginning with the first manned space flight in 1961. Who can forget his childlike wonderment when Neil Armstrong made those first footprints on the lunar surface? I recall those moments as they happened. (By the way, Armstrong's hugely quoted first words from the moon have been a cause of debate for four decades: did he say "One small step for Man..." or did he say, "One small step for a man..."? I'm here to tell you, he said "One small step for a man." I remember it so clearly because the next day, all the newspapers were misquoting it, and I wondered why. So take my word for it.) I seem to have wandered offtrack. Back to Cronkite:
Walter steadfastly maintained that sending men to the moon was the single greatest achievement of the 20th century, and he should know, as he lived through much of it. He was born during World War I, and began his news career during World War II, as a correspondent for United Press (later "UPI"). He covered the Nuremberg war trials and headed the Moscow bureau for several years before being recruited by Edward R. Murrow for CBS.
His career with CBS corresponded with the network's move from radio into television, and its growth into "the Tiffany Network of News." He made a splash anchoring the 1952 presidential conventions, the first to be reported on TV. Later in the decade, he spent time on The Morning Show, sharing the screen with a hand puppet named Charlemagne. Around this time, he got into some trouble with the show's sponsors, for whom he was required to do commercials. In one instance, he took a drag on a cigarette and proclaimed, "Winston tastes good as a cigarette should," instinctively correcting the grammar of the company's established slogan, "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should."