Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997

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Charles Bishop Kuralt (1934-1997), newspaper, radio, and television journalist and author, was born in Wilmington, N.C. Kuralt attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1951-1955, where served as editor of the "Daily Tar Heel" and worked for WUNC radio. Kuralt then joined the staff of the "Charlotte News" and, in 1957, became a writer for CBS in New York. As a correspondent for CBS, Kuralt was best known for his long-running television series "On the Road" and "Sunday Morning." He was the author of several best-selling books based on his CBS experiences and the recipient of 13 Emmy awards and three George Foster Peabody awards.

From the description of Charles Kuralt collection, 1935-1997. (Oceanside Free Library). WorldCat record id: 40828005

Charles Bishop Kuralt (b. Sept. 10, 1934, Wilmington, N.C.-d. July 4, 1997, N.Y.C.), award-winning American journalist known for his long career with CBS, first for his "On the Road" segments on The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, and later as the first anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning news, a position he held for fifteen years.

From the description of Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10580546

Charles Bishop Kuralt, award-winning newspaper, radio, and television journalist and best-selling author, was born 10 September 1934 in Wilmington, N.C., the first child of Wallace Hamilton Kuralt, Sr., of Massachusetts and Ina Bishop Kuralt of rural Onslow County, N.C. Wallace Kuralt, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, pursued a career in social work, and Ina Kuralt found work as a schoolteacher. Charles spent his early years on his maternal grandparents' tobacco farm in Onslow County. The family, which expanded eventually to include Charles' two siblings, Wallace Hamilton Kuralt, Jr., and Catherine Kuralt Harris, then undertook a series of moves in response to career opportunities for his father. Living in Washington, N.C., Stedman, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga., the Kuralts finally settled in Charlotte in the mid 1940s, where Wallace Kuralt became director of the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services.

Charles attended Charlotte's Alexander Graham Junior High School from 1945 to 1948, where he received his first training in journalism in a class taught by Anne Batten. He also wrote a column, The Kaleidoscope, for the school's newspaper. At the early age of fourteen, Kuralt began broadcasting baseball and football games for WAYS radio in Charlotte. After his graduation from Central High School in 1951 he also spent a summer as a disc jockey at the station. In addition, Kuralt proved a prize-winning writer, winning a national Voice of Democracy speech writing contest in 1949.

In the fall of 1951, Kuralt entered the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he majored in history and served as editor of the Daily Tar Heel . He also worked for WUNC radio, for WCHL in Chapel Hill, and for a Sanford radio station. Graduating in 1955, Kuralt returned to Charlotte to join the staff of the Charlotte News, where he wrote news and human interest stories, and penned a regular column, People, for which he won the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award in 1956.

In May 1957, Kuralt accepted an offer from CBS to join their New York radio staff as a writer for Douglas Edwards With the News. In 1958, he sought and received a job on the CBS Television News assignment desk. One year later, CBS named Kuralt a full correspondent, and chose him to host the newly created weekly television show Eyewitness to History. During his career with CBS, which spanned 37 years, Kuralt worked on a variety of radio and television series and projects. He focused, during his early career, on radio news and commentary ( CBS Radio News and Dimensions on Health ) and television documentaries and special reports ( CBS Reports, Eyewitness to History, and CBS News Specials ). He gathered much of the background material for these programs as the network's News Chief for Latin America (1961-October 1962), News Chief for the West Coast (October 1962-1963), and as a special assignment correspondent for the CBS New York Bureau (1964-1967). In 1967, Kuralt traveled to Eureka, Canada, to cover the Plaisted Polar Expedition. His first book, To the Top of the World, published in 1968, resulted from his work there.

Kuralt was best known for his On the Road series, which began as a segment on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite in October 1967 and did not end, except for a brief interruption in 1980-1982 when he anchored the CBS Morning News, until 1988, and for his long-running television series Sunday Morning (1979-1994). He also served as host of a number of other CBS television programs, including Adventure and The American Parade . Material from his many years of traveling the countryside seeking out human interest stories provided the background for a number of books, including Dateline America (1979), based on a radio show of the same name that served as a companion to the On the Road broadcasts; On the Road with Charles Kuralt (1985), and his autobiographical A Life on the Road (1990).

During his career at CBS, Kuralt also proved a popular speaker on campus and organizational circuits and won a variety of awards for his television work, including three George Foster Peabody Awards and thirteen Emmy Awards. He retired in April 1994, but continued to work in the field of journalism, making a trek across America in 1994-1995 to gather material for his book Charles Kuralt's America (1995). He also kept a full calendar of speaking engagements and appearances for causes he supported; completed a number of narration projects; and, in 1995, became owner of WELY, a radio station in Ely, Minn.

In 1952, Kuralt married Sory Guthery of Charlotte. They had two children, Susan Guthery Bowers and Lisa Bowers White. After the Kuralts divorced, Sory married Henry Bowers, and Lisa and Susan adopted their stepfather's surname. In 1962, Kuralt married Suzanne (Petie) Folsom Baird Kuralt (b. 1929), to whom he was married until his death on 4 July 1997.

From the guide to the Charles Kuralt Collection, 1935-1997, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997. Charles Kuralt collection, 1935-1997. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Records of the Community Services Administration. 1963 - 1981. Moving Images Relating to Anti-Poverty Programs. 1964 - 1979. HIDDEN FACE OF POVERTY
referencedIn General Records of the Department of Labor. 1907 - 2001. Motion Picture Films. 1940 - 1969. SOME FRIENDS OF ADLAI STEVENSON
referencedIn William C. Friday Papers, 1942-1999 and undated (bulk 1985-1999) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
creatorOf Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997. Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) [videorecording]. State Archive of Michigan
creatorOf Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997. Charles Kuralt post card 1949. University of North Carolina, Charlotte, J. Murrey Atkins Library
referencedIn Graham, Frank Porter, 1886-1972. Frank Porter Graham papers, 1908-1990. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Charles Kuralt Collection, 1935-1997 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Arthur Unger collection of recorded interviews [sound recording] The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997. Commencement address, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, May 12, 1985 / Charles Kuralt. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn On the Road with Charles Kuralt: Pauli Murray, 1977. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Kaufman, Debra. [North Carolina authors literary ephemera : K]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Yoder, Edwin M. (Edwin Milton), 1934-. Edwin M. Yoder papers, 1945-1998. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Kuralt, Charles, 1934-. Miscellaneous papers. Jacksonville University, Carl S. Swisher Library
referencedIn Spearman, Walter. Walter Spearman papers, 1900-1986 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Records of the Community Services Administration. 1963 - 1981. Moving Images Relating to Anti-Poverty Programs. 1964 - 1979. 117TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK
referencedIn Lutheran Film Associates. Transcript 1967. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Library, ELCA Library
referencedIn [Magazine articles about Charles Kuralt]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997. André Michaux talk at Grandfather Mountain, Aug. 28, 1994 / [by Charles Kuralt]. Appalachian State University, ASU
referencedIn Northshield, Robert, 1922-2000. [Interview with Robert Shad Northshield] [sound recording] / Robert Shad Northshield ; [interviewed by] Mort Silverstein, November 12, 1998. Syracuse University
referencedIn Ira A. Abrahamson Archival Collection, 1930-2011 University of Cincinnati, Health Sciences Library, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions
referencedIn Records of the Community Services Administration. 1963 - 1981. Moving Images Relating to Anti-Poverty Programs. 1964 - 1979. CHRISTMAS IN APPALACHIA
referencedIn Hugh Morton Photographs and Films,  , late 1920s-2006, (bulk 1940s-1990s) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. North Carolina Collection.
referencedIn Sanders, Marlene. Marlene Sanders papers, 1933-2006. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Viterbo University. Pope John XXIII Awards : Sister Leclare Beres, F.S.P.A. ; Charles Kuralt ; Bishop John Paul ; Bart Starr ; Arvina Thayer, 1990. Viterbo University, Todd Wehr Memorial Library
referencedIn Wolff, Perry. Papers, 1945-1989. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Friday, William C. (William Clyde). William C. Friday photographic collection, 1951-1980s. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Clark, Archie L., 1896-1987. Archie L. Clark papers, 1936-1982. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Morton, Hugh M. Hugh Morton photographs and films: People and events, late 1920s-early 2000s (bulk 1940s-1990s) (Series 2). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Charles Kuralt Collection, 1935-1997 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Bicentennial Photographic Collection [graphic]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997. Basques in Idaho collection, 1983. Idaho State Archives, Idaho State Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Appalachian Region
Grandfather Mountain (N.C.)
Russia (Federation)--Moscow
North Carolina
Polar regions
Vietnam
Latin America
United States
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Subject
Broadcast journalism--History
Popular culture--History--20th century
Television broadcasting--History
Fly fishing
Postcards
Olympics--Press coverage
Foreign correspondents
Celebrities--History--20th century
Baccalaureate addresses--University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Folklore
Television broadcasting--Social aspects
Families--Social life and customs
Radio journalism--History--20th century
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Press coverage
Retirement
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Mass media and the war
Voyages and travels--History--20th century
Journalists--History--20th century
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Journalists
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1934-09-10

Death 1997-07-04

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 60758406