The JFK assassination, Watergate, the George W. Bush National Guard controversy, the Abu Ghraib scandal - for nearly 60 years CBS newsman Dan Rather has witnessed, reported on, and sometimes been a factor in some of the biggest news stories of our time.
Now, following the recent publication of his memoir Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News, this television legend holds a public conversation with Library Director Crosby Kemper III on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
A native of Texas, Rather began his journalism career in that state with the Associated Press, United Press International, The Houston Chronicle, and several TV and radio stations. His live reporting on a Gulf Coast hurricane so impressed network executives at CBS that they made him a correspondent and then chief of their Southern bureau.
Rather was the first network television journalist to report that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated; he claims to be one of the first to see the Zapruder film of the killing and the first to describe it on television.
He was CBS's White House correspondent through both the Johnson and Nixon administrations, and in 1981 succeeded Walter Cronkite as anchorman of the CBS Evening News, holding that job for 24 years, the longest tenure of anyone in American television history.
He resigned from the Evening News in 2005 in the wake of his 60 Minutes II report about President George W. Bush's military service. Critics alleged that the report was based on possibly forged documents. The controversy came to be known as "Rathergate."
As Rather himself has said: "You can't be a good reporter and not regularly be involved in some kind of controversy."
At age 80 Rather is managing editor and anchor of the television news magazine Dan Rather Reports on the HDNet cable channel.
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.
Major funding for programs at the Kansas City Public Library is provided by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.