Happy Birthday, Dan Rather

For years, many of us welcomed Dan Rather into our homes each evening much like we would a trusted friend or relative, We relied upon him to deliver the news no matter how painful or tragic.

Dan Rather Jr., born Oct. 31, 1931, is an American journalist and former national evening news anchor. Rather began his career in Texas, becoming a national name after his reporting saved thousands of lives during Hurricane Carla in September 1961.

He enjoyed — and continues to enjoy holding public officials accountable. At the top of his Facebook page in prominent lettering, he writes, “News is what the powerful want to keep hidden.” Not much has been hidden from Dan Rather.

Rather reported from Dallas in November 1963 at the time of the President Kennedy assassination. Based on his reporting, he was promoted at CBS News, where he served as White House correspondent beginning in 1964. He served as foreign correspondent in London and Vietnam over the next two years before returning to the White House correspondent position. He covered the presidency of Richard Nixon, including Nixon’s trip to China, the Watergate scandal, and the president’s resignation.

In 1981, Rather was promoted to news anchor for the CBS Evening News, a role he occupied for 24 years. Along with Peter Jennings at ABC News and Tom Brokaw at NBC News, he was one of the “Big Three” nightly news anchors in the U.S. from the 1980s through the early 2000s.

He frequently contributed to CBS’s weekly news magazine, 60 Minutes. Within a year of Brokaw’s retirement and Jennings’s death, Rather left the anchor desk in 2005 following the Killian documents controversy in which he presented unauthenticated documents in a news report on President George W. Bush’s Vietnam War–era service in the National Guard.

He continued to work with CBS until 2006, when he was abruptly fired.

Rather, who started his reporting career before the advent of color TV, has found a medium that suits his personality and has revived his influence: near-daily Facebook posts in which he expounds on American life, politics, and, especially, Donald Trump, according to Columbia Journalism Review

Rather’s Facebook page is now liked by more than 2.9 million users,.

Image Sources

  • Dan Rather: Facebook