H. V. Kaltenborn

    "Ah, there's bad news tonight," was how he began his broadcasts.

    H. V. Kaltenborn's radio career goes back to April 21, 1921 when he 
addressed the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce while speaking from Newark, N. J.  
Two years later he was regularly heard on the air.  He joined CBS in 1928. 

    When he was nineteen, he ran off from home and joined up to fight in 
the Spanish-American War.  After that he spent some time in Europe, returning 
to take a job with the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.  However, at twenty-four, he went 
to college enrolling as a special student at Harvard.  When he finished, he 
return to the Eagle, but would travel in the summertime to faraway locales. 

    Kaltenborn was known as a commentator who never read from a script.  His 
"talks" were extemporaneous created from notes he had previously written.  His 
analysis was welcome into homes especially during the war and the time leading 
up to America's entry into it.  He had an international reputation and was able 
to speak intelligently about events because he had interviewed many of those 
involved.  From the contacts he developed in his travels and his ability to 
speak fluent German and French, Kaltenborn seemed chosen for the role he 
developed at CBS. 

    One of his most famous periods was during the Munich crisis in 1938.  Much 
of what listeners heard was Kaltenborn speaking without script even after 
sometimes having been up for most of a night covering the breaking news.  Some 
claimed that when Kaltenborn was awakened during the Munich vigil, one merely 
had to utter Munich and Kaltenborn could talk for hours on the subject. 

    Kaltenborn had very specific views about radio's role in presenting the 
news.  Later in life he wrote on the subject through many of his books.  In 
an introduction to one of his books, Kaltenborn Edits the News, he spoke to 
the subject.

Episode 373, scene 4.

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