When Hamilton College professor Maurice Isserman heard there was a Walter Cronkite in his class he thought it was a joke. "It turned out it was Walter Cronkite IV," Isserman explained, realizing that he would teach the grandson of the great newsman. That relationship, as professor and student, blossomed into an editing partnership as the two recently released "Cronkite's War: His World War II Letters Home," a volume filled with Cronkite's letters to his wife, Betsy.
On Tuesday "Walt" Cronkite and Isserman talked about the tome at the National Press Club, revealing one figure in Walter Cronkite's young life that they had to edit out -- somewhat.
"His beloved dog Judy was a big character in these letters -- he writes about her constantly," explained Cronkite, an associate producer for CBS News. "We actually saw so many references to Judy in the letters that we edited it out a little bit, so he wouldn't seem too weird."
Judy the cocker spaniel's presence wasn't the only thing to get the edit pen. "There was a lot we had to cut out," Isserman acknowledged. "He complains about the food all the time, he hated English food, he lost 40 pounds, we were thinking of titling this the 'Walter Cronkite Wartime Austerity Diet,' but my editor over there wouldn't allow me to do that."