History
5:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Walter Cronkite's Grandson Talks About the Newsman’s World War II Letters Home

KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Walt Cronkite about his grandfather's letters home during World War II.

“Another day, and another dollar or two. This is a gloomy day with the skies unable to make up their minds about the whole thing. They look like they’re constipated with rain, but nothing happens. I know how they feel.”

So wrote journalist Walter Cronkite in one of the hundreds of letters he wrote home to his wife, Betsy, while he was working overseas as a war correspondent during World War II.

Cronkite and his wife had been married barely three years when their lengthy separation began. His letters home to Betsy were a mix of war diary, news update, personal reflection, and romantic gesture to the woman he met at a Kansas City radio station when they did an ad for a cosmetics company early in their careers.

Walter Cronkite's grandson Walt has co-authored, with historian Maurice Isserman, a book about those letters - Cronkite's War: His World War II Letters Home. He talks with KUT News about some of his grandfather's favorite subjects in the letters, including the quality of England's cuisine; his fondness for their family's dog Judy; and how much he missed his wife. Click on the player on this page to hear from Walt Cronkite about his grandfather, including which video games he favored later in life.

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History on the University of Texas at Austin campus houses Walter Cronkite's professional and personal papers.