Exclusive Photo: Legendary Broadcast Journalist Dan Rather

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CHICAGO – From the JFK assassination, through Vietnam, Watergate and his days of anchoring the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather has influenced the media for six decades. He appeared in Naperville (Ill.) last November for his new book, “What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism,” sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop. Photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com got an Exclusive Photo of the news icon at that appearance.

Daniel Irvin Rather was born in Texas, earned a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University. He began his career as an Associated Press reporter in 1950, and bounced around Texas in various news/broadcasting capacities in that decade, including sports announcing. His first TV reporter job was in Houston, and he became news director for the CBS affiliate there. In 1962, he was given a trial run on the national CBS News, and became a household name one year later as a result of his coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Dan Rather for His Book ‘What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism’
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

From there he covered many of the major stories for CBS in the 1960s as a on-air reporter – including the war in Vietnam – and was working as White House correspondent during President Richard Nixon’s administration when the Watergate incident occurred, which led to Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Shortly thereafter he joined the news program “60 Minutes” just as it moved to prime time. He succeeded Walter Cronkite as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News in 1981.

Rather’s style was different than his avuncular predecessor, it came across as more direct, much like his role as a bulldog reporter. He sought, for example, to come up with a different sign-off than Cronkite’s “that’s the way it is,” and was ridiculed when he came up with “Courage” (it only lasted a week). His ratings fluctuated over the years, and his exit from the anchor chair was hastened in 2005, a year-and-a-half after he broke a story about the National Guard service of President George W. Bush, and allegations that he had gone AWOL. Documents that were included in the “60 Minutes II” story were found out to be forgeries (unbeknownst to Rather and his team), and CBS had to offer an apology. CBS did not renew his contract in June of 2006.

Rather’s post-CBS life has included working with Mark Cuban (on the mogul’s HDNet TV) and gaining millions of followers on his Facebook page. Just this week, The Young Turks (TYT) Network on YouTube announced that he would be launching a weekly half hour show “The News with Dan Rather.” His new book, “What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism” (with Elliott Kirschner) is his seventh.

Photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com took this Exclusive Photo of Dan Rather before his sold-out Q&A event at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., on November 29th, 2017. The event was sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop, and was “co-anchored” by Naperville Council member Becky Anderson.

“What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism” by Dan Rather, is available at Anderson’s Bookshop or wherever books are sold.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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