To millions he was more than a mere news anchor. He was "Uncle Walter," perhaps the most trusted man in America.
Biographer Douglas Brinkley looks at the life and career of CBS newsman and media icon Walter Cronkite on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Waldo Barnes (nee Cronkite), Walter Cronkite's second cousin, will introduce Brinkley.
"Walter was an important part of my life as I had the opportunity to know him from the time I was seven years old," Barnes recently recalled. "He had a delightful personality
in addition to being an international media icon."
In Cronkite -- the definitive, revealing biography of an American legend - Brinkley draws upon recently disclosed letters, diaries, and other artifacts at the recently opened Cronkite Archive to bring detail and depth to this deeply personal portrait.
The book follows Cronkite from his St. Joseph childhood to his early days as a journalist in Kansas City and his eventual metamorphosis into a national institution.
Brinkley also interviewed nearly 200 of Cronkite's closest friends and colleagues (among them Andy Rooney, Leslie Stahl, Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Les Moonves, Christiane Amanpour, Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer, Ted Turner, Jimmy Buffett, and Morley Safer), using their voices to instill dignity and humanity in this study of one of America's most beloved and trusted public figures.
Walter Isaacson, author of the recent best-selling biography of Steve Jobs, writes that Brinkley "treats Cronkite as not just an icon, but as a real human with passions, loves, and occasional enmities. It's a fascinating and valuable tale."
Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him "America's new past master." Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. His most recent book, The Great Deluge, won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.
Admission is free. The event will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
Brinkley's appearance is one of two June events dealing with the personalities that help shape broadcast news.Dan Rather, Cronkite's successor as anchor of the CBS Evening News, discusses his new memoir Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Both events are co-sponsored by Rainy Day Books.