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News Icon Cronkite Had Strong Ties to San Diego

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Walter Cronkite, the CBS news pioneer who died Friday at age 92, had strong ties to San Diego, and on several occasions discussed his tenure as anchor of the CBS Evening News with News 8.

Just before the last time he said his signature phrase, "That's the way it is," Walter Cronkite allowed News 8 cameras in on some of his highs and lows over his tenure.

Perhaps the most difficult of times, he said, was having to tell the nation that President Kennedy was dead.

"I puddled up a little bit had trouble getting the words out," Cronkite admitted.

One of his many high points he told us was his time in the field alongside the men and women of the armed forces.

And he admitted that despite sitting as an impartial witness to historical events, Vietnam caused him to suggest American troops pull out during one of his newscasts.

"I think there were a lot of people disappointed that I had dropped the role of the impartial newsman which I did at that moment," he said.

In 1989, Cronkite, who had a passion for sailing, took the Star of India out for a ride on the Pacific.

"This is a day for the Walter Mitty in all of us, we're sailing off from San Diego," he said.

In 1992 he was back in San Diego kicking off the AARP convention. And in 1996 News 8 chatted with him one more time and wondered what he thought of the change in TV News since his retirement 15 years prior.

"We dash out to fairly insignificant events just to show off our equipment it seems to me at times," Cronkite lamented.

And he even foreshadowed how he would want people to remember about him once he was gone.

"I think I'd want most of all to be remembered for one who in the pioneering days of television helped give it respectability," Cronkite predicted.

During coverage of the JFK assassination, Cronkite said he was in such a hurry to get the story on the air that he forgot to put on his suit jacket, which was against CBS policy at the time.

In 2002, Cronkite received the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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