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Statement From Walter Cronkite’s Family

June 26, 2009

Updating my readers on the latest news about Walter Cronkite.

Walter Cronkite, legendary newsman and recipient of countless reporting awards, is, ironically enough, now suffering himself from an assault of bad reporting.

On Saturday, at a memorial service in Harlem for her life-long friend Father Peter Jacobs, Cronkite’s daughter, Nancy, teared up for both Jacobs and for her dad.

Nancy said her 92-year-old dad has been afflicted for some years now from cerebrovascular disease, not Alzheimer’s Disease or any of the various other diseases that have been incorrectly reported. The rumor-mongering, assumptions and reports of his death (which have obviously been greatly exaggerated) have disturbed her family at a time when they are trying to put their energy into caring for the newsman.

In order to set the record straight, Cronkite’s three children, Nancy, Kathy Cronkite and Walter (Chip) Cronkite III sent me an email that read, “In order to dispel false rumors, Walter Cronkite’s family want it known that, sadly, he is very ill and is not expected to recuperate; he is resting at home surrounded by family, friends and a wonderful medical team. We thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes.”

The statement is a sort of middle-road assessment from his family of the newsman’s health. It follows a report last week on the Web site Tvnewser.com that he was “gravely ill” and that CBS had begun “updating his obituary.”

Then Andy Rooney started telling reporters, “Walter’s going to live — for a while. He’s dressed. He looks good. He’s thinking pretty well.”

What to make of this latest family statement?

Apparently, Cronkite is not at death’s door as the first reports indicate, but clearly he’s not long with us either, as Rooney might wish.

And that’s the way it is.

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One Comment
  1. Bruce Miller permalink
    June 27, 2009 6:36 PM

    Over the years, Deke and I have often observed how celebrity deaths seem to occur in groups of 3. The recent passing of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson is a perfect example of that strange phenomenon. Whether it’s cosmic fate or pure coincidence I can’t be certain. But if it’s true then it means Walter Cronkite should be with us at least a little while longer, God willing, otherwise the pattern will be shot to hell.

    By the way, with so many great “eye network” icons living (and working!) past age 90 has anyone ever wondered what they’re putting in the water over at CBS News?

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