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Walter Cronkite memorial draws celebrity crowd




President Barack Obama called Walter Cronkite "a voice of certainty in a world that was growing more and more uncertain," the AP reports.

Speaking at a memorial service for the legendary newsman, Obama acknowledged he hadn't known Cronkite personally, "but I have benefited as a citizen from his dogged pursuit of the truth."

Obama's remarks concluded a gathering Wednesday of dignitaries, journalists, family and friends at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall to honor Cronkite, who died July 17 at age 92.

Others appearing included former CBS colleagues, musicians Wynton Marsalis and Mickey Hart, and former President Bill Clinton, who saluted Cronkite for "an inquiring mind and a caring heart and a careful devotion to the facts."

Jimmy Buffett sang "Son of a Son of a Sailor" for his sailing buddy Cronkite.

But before performing his classic song, Buffett shared a memory of seeking some advice for a mutual friend, the late "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley.

After a sail, "the sun was down, the rum was out, and I said, 'Walter, Ed called me and he's thinking about wearing an earring on '60 Minutes.'"

Buffett said Cronkite responded: "It doesn't matter if he wears an earring, as long as it's a good story." Then Cronkite added impishly: "If I was going to wear an earring on '60 Minutes,' I'd wear one of those big, long, dangly ones."

[AP photo]

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:55am]


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