Walter Cronkite

image for Walter Cronkite
Exhibition Label
Born St. Joseph, Missouri
As managing editor and anchor of the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite played a key role in the development of network news shows that influenced the public opinion of a generation. His style and demeanor earned him the trust and respect of many Americans. When he visited Vietnam in 1968 and called the conflict a stalemate, President Lyndon Johnson told an adviser, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America." In times of great joy or sorrow in our nation, his mood mirrored what many Americans felt. Struggling to maintain his composure, he broke the news of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963, and whooped with joy during successful NASA missions.
Robert Vickrey, who drew Time's 1966 cover portrait, only saw Cronkite in black and white on his television and incorrectly made his eyes brown. He later corrected the drawing with the most vivid blue he could conjure.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Robert Vickrey/Licenced by VAGA, New York, NY
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Robert Vickrey, 26 Aug 1926 - 17 Apr 2011
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr., 4 Nov 1916 - 17 Jul 2009
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Home Furnishings\Lighting Devices
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie\Necktie
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr.: Male
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr.: Communications\Journalist\Reporter\Newspaper
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr.: Communications\Broadcast Journalist\Television
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr.: Communications\Broadcast Journalist\Radio
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr.: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Watercolor, gouache and graphite pencil on paper
Sight: 53.3 x 36.8cm (21 x 14 1/2")
Mat: 71.1 x 51.4cm (28 x 20 1/4")
Frame: 104.1 x 56.5 x 1.9cm (41 x 22 1/4 x 3/4")
National Portrait Gallery