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Cronkite Comes to Jefferson City

March 08, 1999
By: Chris Pelikan
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Walter Cronkite could be seen in homes across America and now will grace the halls of the state Capitol.

Cronkite, the legendary anchor for CBS news, was inducted into the "Hall of Famous Missourians" in the state Capitol at a ceremony last night.

A native Missourian, Cronkite joined the likes of Harry Truman, Mark Twain and George Washington Carver in third floor rotunda of the state Capitol. A bust of Cronkite will be exhibited in the Hall among the 18 other existing busts.

"He is the best known face and voice of all news casters in the last half-century," said House Speaker Steve Gaw, D-Moberly, who is the honorary keeper of the "Hall of Famous Missourians." "As he delivered the news, he became part of the legend."

Cronkite was selected to the "Hall" by Gaw's predecessor, former House Speaker Bob Griffin, now serving time in federal prison for crimes involving his activities as speaker.

Gaw said that the cost of the bust and the induction ceremony was covered by corporate donations and an annual charity golf tournament.

Cronkite was born in St. Joseph and began his broadcast career in Kansas City at KCMO radio before moving on to the national level. He anchored CBS News for more than 30 years.