Dan Rather, born on October 31, 1931, is an American journalist and former news anchor for C.B.S. news. Rather was born in Wharton County, Texas, and moved to Houston with his family when he was a child, where he graduated from John H. Reagan High School. During his time at Sam Houston State University studying towards his journalism degree, Rather worked as the school paper’s editor and as a radio presenter reporting on the school’s football. He began his career at C.B.S. for their KHOU-TV channel before relocating to New York to work for C.B.S. Throughout his years as a broadcaster here, he’s become widely recognized for his news coverage of important events. After retiring from C.B.S., Rather ventured into his own news shows and started “Dan Rather Reports” and “The Big Interview with Dan Rather.” He has published several books and won several awards for his contribution to the world of journalism. We will celebrate this star anchor’s birthday right here!
Daniel Irvin Rather Jr.
October 31, 1931
Dan Rather is an American journalist who is well-known for his years as an anchorman for C.B.S. news. Born in Wharton County, Texas, on October 31, 1931, he and his family relocated to Houston during his childhood years. He graduated from John H. Reagan High School in 1950, where he immediately started his career in journalism. During his time at Sam Houston State University, he worked as an editor for “The Houstonian,” the school’s newspaper, and for KSAM-FM radio where he covered high school and Sam Houston State University football games. He also worked as a reporter for the “Associated Press” and the “United Press” until 1952, as well as several Texas radio stations and the “Houston Chronicle” between 1954 and 1955. Rather graduated with his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in 1953. The journalist graduate also attended South Texas College of Law for a short time.
His broadcasting career continued with ABC’s KTRK-TV in 1959 and was thereafter promoted to the news director of C.B.S.’s KHOU-TV. By 1961, he became widely recognized for his coverage of Hurricane Carla for KHOU-TV and is credited for showing the first radar image of a hurricane on television, which showed viewers the size of the hurricane. His report on the radar image led to the evacuation of over 350,000 people. In 1962, Rather moved to New York for a six-month trial at C.B.S., where his first reports included coverage of the American Airlines Flight 1 crash in Jamaica Bay and the suffocation of children at a hospital in Binghamton, New York. Rather was soon appointed as chief of C.B.S.’s Southwest bureau in Dallas, and in 1963, as the chief of the Southern bureau in New Orleans where he was responsible for news coverage in the South, Southwest, Mexico, and Central America. In 1964, Rather was selected for C.B.S.’s White House correspondent position following his impressive reporting of president J.F. Kennedy’s assassination and mourning period. Rather became the C.B.S. Evening News anchor in 1981 and retired in 2005 after 24 years.
Retirement hasn’t stopped Rather from continuing to do what he loves. He joined the AXS-TV network where he produced and hosted his own show called “Dan Rather Reports” from 2006 until 2013. Within the same year of ending “Dan Rather Reports,” he began his series “The Big Interview with Dan Rather,” where he conducted in-depth interviews with influential figures in the music and entertainment industry. He’s also produced numerous documentaries under the title “Dan Rather Presents” and discussed various topics. In 2012, he published his autobiography called “Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News.” In 2015, he established his own production company called News and Guts Media, where he produced several of his projects. In 2018, he collaborated with The Young Turks, a news commentary YouTube channel, and launched a Monday evening 30-minute newscast called “The News with Dan Rather.” Throughout his career, he has earned numerous Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards, and honorary degrees from universities. This hardworking journalist hasn’t only been about his career, though. He married Jean Goebel in 1957 and has two children, a daughter named Robin and a son named Dan. Robin is an environmentalist and community activist in Austin, Texas, and Dan is an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. The family has two homes in Austin and New York City.
He begins working as an editor for his university's newspaper, as a radio presenter, and as a reporter for the “Associated Press” and the “United Press.”
He begins working as a reporter for ABC’s KTRK-TV in Houston.
He becomes the C.B.S. Evening News anchorman, replacing the previous, retired host, Walter Cronkite.
He produces and hosts his own show called “Dan Rather Reports” on AXS T.V.
He publishes “Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News,” his autobiography.
He starts his online newscast, “The Big Interview with Dan Rather,” on The Young Turks YouTube channel.
Why We Love Dan Rather
His contribution to journalism
Rather is known as quite a prominent and influential figure in the world of journalism during his time as a broadcaster. He covered numerous important events which he has been well recognized for.
His passion for the field
Rather wasted no time after high school and immediately dove into the field of journalism, while studying toward earning his degree. His passion for the field continued after retirement, as he went on to produce his own news shows.
He’s 90, healthy, and going strong
Rather once said in an interview that he’s grateful for his health and for as long as he has his health, he will continue on his projects. Talk about keeping it going!
5 Surprising Facts
He tried heroin for an article
Rather once tried a dose of heroin with the help of the Houston Police to write an article on his experience, which he described as “a special kind of hell.”
The S.H.S.U. mass communication building
The Sam Houston State University, the same university which he graduated from, has renamed its mass communication building after Rather in honor of his contribution to journalism.
His “courage” signature line
Many people might know Rather for his signature line at the end of his broadcasts, “courage.”
He had a few outbursts
Rather had a few emotional and aggressive outbursts while reporting and was accused several times of biased reporting.
Author of several books
In addition to his autobiography, “Rather Outspoken,” he has published several books and memoirs, some of which were written by collaborating with other journalists.
Dan Rather FAQs
Why did Dan Rather leave C.B.S.?
Rather left the anchor desk in 2005 following the Killian documents controversy, in which he showed unauthenticated documents in a news report about President George W. Bush’s Vietnam War.
What is Dan Rather’s salary?
Rather earned $6 million per year from C.B.S. towards the end of his career.
Who took Dan Rather’s place?
Rather was replaced by Bob Schieffer.
Dan Rather’s birthday dates