Live

Watch CBSN Live

Walter Cronkite Set for Final Send-Off

The "most trusted man in America" is set to be laid to rest.

A funeral for Walter Cronkite, widely considered the premier TV journalist of his time, will be a private family service Thursday at St. Bartholomew's Church in midtown Manhattan, where the CBS newsman's family worshipped for decades.

The ceremony is likely to draw scores of his loved ones, friends and colleagues.

Although the service is planned as a traditional burial service from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, announced speakers include "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney and longtime Cronkite producer Sanford Socolow, as well as son Chip Cronkite.



Watch live coverage of Walter Cronkite's funeral service

Music is expected to include a jazz band's rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In."

Walter Cronkite, who personified television journalism for more than a generation as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News," died July 17 with his family by his side at his home in New York after a long illness. He was 92.

Known for his steady and straightforward delivery, his trim moustache, and his iconic sign-off line -"That's the way it is" - Cronkite dominated the television news industry during one of the most volatile periods of American history. He broke the news of the Kennedy assassination, reported extensively on Vietnam and Civil Rights and Watergate, and seemed to be the very embodiment of TV journalism.

Special Section: Walter Cronkite: 1916-2009

At one time, his audience was so large, and his image so credible, that a 1972 poll determined he was "the most trusted man in America" - surpassing even the president, vice president, members of Congress and all other journalists. In a time of turmoil and mistrust, after Vietnam and Watergate, the title was a rare feat - and the label stuck.

Since his death last week, Cronkite has received an outpouring of remembrances from fellow journalists, politicians and celebrities alike.

"There is something that is so quintessentially American about Walter Cronkite… his honesty and candor in difficult times," said Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News."

President Bill Clinton said, "to me, he represents the best of the First Amendment. The best of the freedom of the press."

Hollywood star George Clooney described Cronkite as "the guy who held our hands through some of the biggest changes in our country's history."

"I'm the son of a newsman, and it's a huge part of my life," the actor said. "I grew up in a newsroom… I know Walter very well. We did a live television show … It's fun to be around somebody who's actually been part of real historical events."

Veteran newsman Ted Koppel praised Cronkite's journalistic abilities as incomparable.

"There is no way you can analyze it. You can't send it out to 'CSI' and say, 'Alright, look at the DNA of Walter Cronkite and how do we replace that or replicate it?'"

A separate memorial will be held within the next few weeks at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.