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A Fortunate Accident

But as the 1930s drew to a close, radio news was about to change, and the driving force behind that change was a young man named Edward R. Murrow.

In 1937, the 29-year-old Murrow was working in London as CBS's European director, a purely administrative post. Although he had been with the network for two years, he had done no broadcasting and, in fact, had no ambition to become an on-air performer – in news or anything else.

It was entirely an accident that transformed Murrow into a full-time broadcaster, and the accident was something called World War II. When Hitler's aggression turned serious, Murrow was pressed into reporting on the calamitous events from London and other European capitals.

And that was the start of a career that soon made Murrow a living legend.

Ed Murrow brought to the craft of radio journalism many impressive gifts, including a natural instinct for reporting, a talent for inventive phrasing and a strong sense of drama. Even his lack of experience worked to his advantage, for as he himself often noted, he was not "contaminated by the conventions of print."

Next: Murrow's Boys

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Written by Gary Paul Gates

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