Journalists, family bid Cronkite farewell


June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 23, 2009 at 7:10 PM EDT

Veteran US journalists and family members bid farewell Thursday to Walter Cronkite at a memorial service for the renowned CBS television anchor in New York.

CBS said the service took place at Saint Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan ahead of Cronkite's burial in the southern state of Missouri.

Among those attending were news anchors and journalists Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Barbara Walters, Brian Williams and Andy Rooney.

Cronkite died July 17, aged 92.

Presenter of the CBS Evening News program from 1962-1981, he became known as "the most trusted man in America" for his calm and honest delivery during a tumultuous time in US history.

Events during that period included civil rights unrest, the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam war, the Moon landing, the Cold War, and the Watergate scandal that toppled president Richard Nixon.

It was also a period when broadcast networks ruled supreme in the United States, making Cronkite a truly national figure.

Sanford Socolow, a longtime CBS News executive, was quoted by CBS saying at the memorial service: "He had this reputation for being cool and calm and collected no matter what the circumstances, but that doesn?t do him justice.

"He was really ferocious at times. He was always a wire service reporter in his heart. And he always lived by the wire service adage 'Get it first, but get it right.'"

His son, Chip Cronkite, remembered his father's gentle side, "saying to mom as you passed her in the kitchen or the hall, 'Shall we dance?' and then taking her for a few turns around the room."

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