Rather at the 2005 Peabody Awards
|Born||Daniel Irvin Rather, Jr.
October 31, 1931
Wharton, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Sam Houston State University|
CBS Evening News anchor (1981â€“2005)
|Spouse(s)||Jean Goebel (m. 1957)|
There is no doubt that the way journalism worked when I was growing up and getting started has changed forever.
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'.
Covering the civil-rights movement was a mind- and eye-opener for me. Houston was a segregated society, as was Texas as a whole – some of it by law, a lot of it by fear and tradition. But there was no violence where I lived, and if there was hate, it was either concealed from me or I just didn't recognize it.
A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.
I had just turned 10-years-old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and plunged America into World War II.
Always marry a woman from Texas. No matter how tough things get, she's seen tougher.
An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.
I respect and empathize with reporters and editors who must compete in today's environment. And I know full well that when I've been covering campaigns, which I still do, I've made my mistakes and have been far from perfect.
I think it's important for the public to know, great reporting starts with a publisher who has guts and an editor who has guts.
I still love following and thinking about politics. I enjoy recommending important journalism I read or see from other sources.
And for whatever reason I've loved the news since I can remember. I loved it when I was in elementary school.
From the streets of Cairo and the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall Street, from the busy political calendar to the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, social media was not only sharing the news but driving it.
A free and truly independent press – fiercely independent when necessary – is the red beating heart of freedom and democracy.
But we cannot rely on memorials and museums alone. We can tell ourselves we will never forget and we likely won't. But we need to make sure that we teach history to those who never had the opportunity to remember in the first place.
The great lesson my mother and father gave me was almost invisible. It was a strong sense of being rooted.
Start-ups like UniversityNow, a network of low-cost, online colleges, allows students to work at their own pace and pay a few hundred dollars a month for a degree.
I've always tried to be fair, even-handed, not an advocate for any group.
A college degree is the key to realizing the American dream, well worth the financial sacrifice because it is supposed to open the door to a world of opportunity.
If I didn't have a front-row seat on history, it was at least a seat on the aisle.
I don't back down. I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political ideological forces.
I'm a believer in what your record is. I am what my record is – some of it good, some of it bad, some of it hard to tell.
Those market researchers… are playing games with you and me and with this entire country. Their so-called samples of opinion are no more accurate or reliable than my grandmother's big toe was when it came to predicting the weather.
They may have turned this up, whether you had the Paula Jones case or not. But again maybe not, but again that's like if a frog had side pockets he'd probably wear a handgun.
Now, I know you expected me to say that, well, I just kick back in the rocking chair, fished a little bit, listened to Willie Nelson tapes and watched old baseball games on the Classic Sports network. And, tell you the truth, I have done that for maybe about five total minutes.
The press is a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.
As someone who's been covering presidential campaigns since the 1950s, I have no delusions about political reporting. Candidates bargaining access to get the kind of news coverage they want is nothing new.
Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy.
Well, first of all, I don't want to debate the word conservative, but by my definition, a conservative is someone who wants to conserve the Constitution of the United States and the American tradition and law that no one is above the law.
Performing doesn't turn me on. It's an egomaniac business, filled with prima donnas – including this one.
Once the herd starts moving in one direction, it's very hard to turn it, even slightly.
For years Don Imus was just – boy, he was merciless in his criticism of me. Maybe it was justified, but that didn't mean it didn't hurt.
If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.
I was really lucky to work at CBS news. I was blessed to be able to live my dream in many ways at CBS news.
This much we know: Journalism is not a precise science. It's, on its best day, is a crude art. We make mistakes; I make mistakes. With more than 50 years as a journalist, I have at least had the opportunity to blow more stories, make more mistakes than maybe anybody in television.