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Former CBS Correspondent Recalls Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite, longtime CBS Evening News anchorman and the person referred to as “the most trusted man in America” passed away Friday. One man who remembers him well is Dave Dugan, who worked with Cronkite as a CBS News correspondent in the 1960s. KSMU's Jennifer Moore spoke with him about his memories of working with the legendary journalist.

Dugan was the chair of the broadcast department at the University of Missouri School of Journalism until he retired in 1996. He now lives in Kansas City and joined us by phone.

Dugan said he came to know Walter Cronkite when Cronkite came to CBS to take over anchoring the evening news. At the time, the ratings at CBS were plummeting. Walter Cronkite turned those ratings numbers around, Dugan said.

Dugan remembers shortly after Cronkite came to the network, he made sure that the correspondents’ names were featured at the beginning of the news, and in doing so, he elevated the role of the field correspondents.

He recalls covering several major stories with Cronkite, including John Glenn’s space flight and the funeral of President John F. Kennedy.

Dugan said Cronkite was endearing on television because he was endearing as a person, and that he was a wonderful human being.

Cronkite often talked about being speechless when Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the moon. He brought that story to the American people 40 years ago today.

For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.