"I think one reason that a lot of people get into journalism is the opportunity to feel that you lead a purposeful life, in some small way. And if you're lucky and God smiles, at least you'll have a few opportunities to feel that you're contributing to something that's larger than just yourself and your own self interests. I can think of no other craft or profession or practice or anything in which I would have had more joy."
About This Interview
In his nearly eight-hour interview (in two sessions), Dan Rather talks at length about growing up in Houston, Texas and his early years as a radio and television journalist in the local market. He describes in detail his work at KHOU-TV, where his dramatic continuous coverage of "Hurricane Carla" garnered national recognition and brought him to the attention of CBS News. In addition, he explains the challenges and lessons he learned from covering monumental moments in the Civil Rights Movement and the assassination of President Kennedy, and why CBS News, due to logistics, did not broadcast live television's first on-air murder -- that of Lee Harvey Oswald. He concludes with recollections on covering the war in Vietnam, the Nixon White House, and 9/11, and also speaks of his work on 60 Minutes and on succeeding Walter Cronkite as anchor of CBS Evening News. Don Carleton conducted the two-part interview in New York, NY on April 7 and November 7, 2005.