Born on November 4, 1916, in St Joseph, Missouri, Walter Leland Cronkite Jr became a United Press correspondent in 1939.

History of success

Cronkie was one of the first journalists accredited to American forces after the US entered World War II in 1941.

He flew on the first bombing raids over Germany, parachuting into the Netherlands with the 101st Airborne Division and landing with Allied troops at Normandy.

Cronkite joined CBS News in 1950 and hosted public affairs programmes.

In 1953, he began narrating the long-running "You Are There" series, which recreated historical events.

He took over the CBS anchor chair on April 16, 1962, and his stirring reports on issues from the space programme to the Vietnam War often had as much impact as the events themselves.

Cronkite grew teary and his voice cracked as he told the nation in 1963 that John F Kennedy, the then US president, had been assassinated in Dallas.

Cronkite retired in 1981 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He spent his later years making documentaries, writing books, giving speeches and exercising his passion for sailing.

He also campaigned against global warming and spoke out against the Iraq war.