September 10, 1934
July 4, 1997 (aged 62)
Charles Kuralt, (born Sept. 10, 1934, Wilmington, N.C.—died July 4, 1997, New York, N.Y.), American broadcast journalist and author who chronicled everyday life in the On the Road television segments that appeared for some 13 years during the CBS Evening News. Each year from 1967 to 1980, he traveled in a motor home roughly 80,000 km (50,000 mi) throughout the 50 states, roaming off the beaten path in search of stories that otherwise might have gone unreported. His travels led him to a variety of engaging subjects, among them a beer-can collector, a 93-year-old brickmaker, and a high-school basketball team on a losing streak that had lasted 127 games. Kuralt was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was editor of the student newspaper. After graduation (1955) he spent two years at the Charlotte (N.C.) News before joining CBS in 1957. In 1959 he became a correspondent--the network’s youngest ever--and he later reported from Africa, Latin America, and Asia. In 1967 Kuralt, who later confessed that he had always had the travel itch, persuaded executives to let him take a look at the lighter side of the news, the result of which was On the Road. During a career that spanned some four decades, he made a number of documentaries, special broadcasts, and other cable and network programs. He anchored CBS News Sunday Morning from 1979. His work received widespread recognition, earning him 12 Emmy and 3 Peabody awards. After retiring from CBS in 1994, he spent a perfect year revisiting his favourite places. The trip was recorded in his final book, Charles Kuralt’s America (1995).