Betsy Cronkite was Walter Cronkite’s wife for nearly 65 years until her death in 2005. Cronkite credited her humor and support for the longevity of their marriage. Read her biography and see photos and a video below.

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Betsy Cronkite

Walter Cronkite died today. He was 92-years-old and known for many things. One of the lesser known, but none the less interesting, things about his life is that he was married for almost 65 years to Betsy Cronkite. The two had a long and seemingly close companionship. Betsy Cronkite was sometimes known as ‘the newsman’s wife’. She died of complications from cancer in 2005, just two weeks short of their 65th anniversary. She was 89-years-old at the time of her death.

In his 1996 autobiography, ‘A Reporter’s Life’, Cronkite said of his wife:

I attribute the longevity of our marriage to Betsy’s extraordinary keen sense of humor, which saw us over many bumps (mostly of my making), and her tolerance, even support, for the uncertain schedule and wanderings of a newsman.

Betsy Cronkite Biography

Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Maxwell was born about 1915. She was raised in Kansas City, Missouri and was Episcopalian. She met Walter Cronkite in 1936 when they both working at KCMO, a radio station in Kansas City, Missouri. They married and she became Walter Cronkite’s wife on March 30, 1940 at the Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Kansas City. He said of her.

“She was one of the most beautiful people I ever saw in my life. … I saw her for the first time … coming down the hall … and I fell in love before I ever knew her name, or what she did, or if I whether I would ever see her again in life … I was paralyzed in wanting to meet a lady … She worked there a week before I introduced myself … She was so precious that I didn’t dare make any mismove.”

During the early 1940s, she was the women’s editor for the Kansas City Journal-Post. During World War II, while Cronkite was overseas, she published a company newsletter for Hallmark that was distributed to members of the armed forces.

The Cronkite’s had three children, Nancy Elizabeth Cronkite, Mary Kathleen Cronkite and Walter Leland Cronkite III. Nancy was born at St. Luke’s hospital on November 8, 1948. Mary Kathleen, known as Kathy Cronkite, was born in Washington, D.C. on September 5, 1950. She is married to Bill Ikard and is an actress. They have two sons, William and Jack. Walter Cronkite, III is known as Chip Cronkite. He is married to actress Deborah Rush. Their two sons are Walter Cronkite IV and Peter.

Betsy Cronkite died on March 15, 2005 when she was 89-years-old. She died in their Manhattan apartment from complications of cancer. Her funeral was held at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York.

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Betsy Cronkite – Photos
Walter Cronkite’s Wife

Walter and Betsy Cronkite – Video