Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. is not a name that most people would associate with the State of Texas, but he had Texas roots. Walter, Jr. was born November 4, 1916 to Dr. Walter L. and Helen Lena Fritsche Cronkite in Missouri. The surname Cronkite is thought to be derived from a similar sounding Dutch name. However, traditional genealogical sources show that this particular Cronkite family had resided in the United States as far back as the middle 1600s with similar spelling, though for a time it was spelled “Cronkhite,” with an h after the k. Dr. Cronkite was a dentist like his own father had been. The family moved to Houston, Texas when Walter, Jr. was ten years old when Dr. Cronkite had accepted an offer to teach at a local dental school.
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