By Griffin J. Fields
Known for his time as the anchor of CBS Evening News from 1981-2004, Dan Rather was a dedicated newsman that came to be a household name. He was born in 1931 to a working-class family in Texas. He secured his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1953, although neither of his parents had attended college.
Working at CBS, Rather reported on international and domestic issues of many varieties. Perhaps most famously, he reported on the September 11th, 2001 attacks, both during and after the immediate events. On foreign issues, he covered a strange practice in Afghanistan: disguising one’s daughter as a son. Supposedly a well-known practice, it allowed women who only had daughters a way to avoid the disrespect which came with not having delivered a son, and provide freedom for their family in many aspects, as women are generally not permitted to leave the house, make decisions, or own land. Rather’s mindful reporting lend such stories a great detail, which helps a viewer understand the situation.
Regardless, Rather’s time as anchor of CBS Evening News came into conflict after the airing of a 60 Minutes II piece which questioned President George W. Bush, claiming that he had gained his status in the National Guard through “Preferential treatment,” and had failed to follow orders on multiple occasions, but had not been accordingly punished. Due to questions about the legitimacy of the memos used to acquire this information and an argument that the use of them was negligent and went against journalistic principles, Rather resigned from his position. Although no longer at CBS, rather continues his career independently and with other publishers.
Dan Rather’s work ethic and commitment to integrity have earned him an overall great success in journalism, and his work has inspired many others to strive for the spread of truth. His coverage of crucial issues throughout his life, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 9/11 attacks, and the impeachment hearings of (now former) President Bill Clinton, is proof that he does his job: to share the news with any willing and able to find it.