Reliving The Legacy Of Edward R. Murrow
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagoner responds to a question concerning the charges his office have filed against two Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies accused of illegally selling dozens of weapons, at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, June 1, 2012. Deputies Ryan McGowan, 31, and Thomas Lu, 42, face charges of trafficking in handguns that cannot be legally bought by citizens in California. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) / Rich Pedroncelli
Forty-three years after Edward R. Murrow's death, there is still a plaque of the legendary newsman in the lobby of the CBS Broadcast Center in New York. Beneath his earnest stare and trademark cigarette is an inscription: "His imprint on broadcasting will be felt for all time to come."
Today, Murrow would have celebrated his 100th birthday. The correspondent's storied career still evokes some of the most unforgettable moments in American journalism. From heroically chronicling the reality of World War II to fearlessly exposing Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Murrow reinvented the scope and power of broadcast reporting.
Starting his career at CBS in 1935, Murrow emerged as a seminal radio voice in the early days of the war. In 1938, he reported on the on World News Roundup, the first modern newscast. Eventually, millions of Americans would listen to Murrow's radio dispatches from London, including a to liberate Europe from the Nazis. Earlier this month, his war correspondent uniform was put on display at the newly opened Newseum in Washington, D.C.
By the 1950s, Murrow established himself as the most distinguished and respected figure in television journalism. His show "See It Now" never shied away from controversial issues. Most notably, Murrow's broadcast launched an attack on Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-communism crusade - reporting that ultimately toppled the senator's political career. In 2005, the film "Good Night, and Good Luck" brought the famous episode - and the newsman - back in the spotlight.
In 1964, a year before Murrow died, the legendary reporter and CBS News anchor Robert Trout sat down to . As they listened, it became apparent that Murrow had never heard some of the reports for which he was the most famous.
Murrow created new standards of integrity and bravery in broadcast reporting. Today, his legacy remains as strong as ever. As David Halberstam wrote in his 2000 book "The Powers That Be," Murrow was "one of those rare legendary figures who was as good as his myth."
Reporting from the flight deck of a plane landing in Berlin in 1958, Murrow took CBS News viewers to the German capital during one episode of "See It Now."
Murrow talks to U.S. servicemen in Korea on Christmas Day, 1953.
On January 22, 1954, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt is a guest on Murrow's show "Person to Person."
On March 9, 1954, Murrow introduces a rebuttal by Sen. Joseph McCarthy after CBS reports revealed the excesses of hearings into alleged Communists infiltration of the U.S.
Quotes About Legendary CBS Newsman Edward R. Murrow
- From an essay by CBS News veteran Joseph Wershba
- Journalist Daniel Schorr, the last of Murrow's colleagues who is still a working journalist. (He's a senior news analyst for National Public Radio)
- Former CBS News correspondent Marvin Kalb in the Orlando Sentinel
By Stephen Smith