Murrow, Edward R.

Murrow, Edward R. (b. Egbert Roscoe Murrow)

(1908–65) broadcast journalist; born near Greensboro, N.C. He grew up in Washington, where he worked in logging camps while attending Washington State College. As assistant director of the Institute of International Education (1932–35), he traveled abroad extensively, then went to work for CBS in 1935. Appointed director of CBS's European bureau in 1937, he personally described the Nazi takeover of Vienna for radio audiences. His broadcasts from London rooftops during the German bombing raids made him famous, along with the salute, "Good night, and good luck." He returned to New York to be a CBS vice-president and director of public affairs (1946–47). With Fred Friendly, he produced and narrated a weekly radio program, Hear It Now (1950–51). An episode from his acclaimed television series, See It Now (1951–58), helped turn public opinion against the anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy. For the television series Person to Person (1953–59), Murrow interviewed celebrities. In 1961, he became director of the U.S. Information Agency but retired in 1964; his premature death from cancer was probably hastened by his trademark, the ever-present cigarette. He was both an eloquent and direct speaker whose courage and integrity set the standard for the profession.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.