Cronkite's life and legacy chronicled in new book

CBS News correspondent Walter Cronkite delivers the news from behind a microphone and a bank of telephones, as a technician in headphones sits nearby, in 1951.
CBS Photo Archive

(CBS News) Walter Cronkite, the iconic CBS News anchor, is the subject of a new biography by Douglas Brinkley.

"Cronkite," written by the historian and CBS News consultant, chronicles the legendary newsman's career from print to television.

"Nobody knew whether television news was really going to work," Brinkley said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning." "Of course we know it did. It took the country by storm in the Eisenhower era. Cronkite rose with the tide."

Cronkite: The Maestro of news
Pictures: Walter Cronkite

From Vietnam to the space missions, to reporting to the nation the death of President Kennedy, Cronkite's role in the latter half of the 20th Century is examined.

Brinkley said Cronkite was "obsessed with news reporting," and loved the wire services. "He was like a jaguar, leaping to grab those wire reports," Brinkley said. "You'd have to elbow Walter to grab, he wanted the first crack at all of those."

Cronkite was "hugely curious," Brinkley said and loved figuring out how machines worked. "Cronkite after Sputnik got on space beat, military aviation, and was able to do those amazing broadcasts."

(Watch Brinkley's full interview in the player above.)