Nearly two-thirds of Charles Kuralt's life was spent working for CBS. During that time, he received numerous broadcasting and reporting honors, including 13 Emmy awards and three Peabody awards.
Sept. 10, 1934: Born at James Walker Memorial Hospital in Wilmington to Wallace Hamilton and Ina Bishop Kuralt. A Springfield, Massachusetts, native, Wallace works as the Onslow County Director of Rural Rehabilitation for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. He graduated in 1931 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ina, who graduated East Carolina Teachers College in 1929, is a housewife. The Kuralts return to Charles' maternal grandparents' tobacco farm in rural Onslow County after his birth.
Fall 1934: The Kuralts move to Lumberton, where Wallace is appointed Case Supervisor for Robeson County. He later is named Director of Special Services for a seven-county district.
Winter 1936: The Kuralts move to Stedman, near Fayetteville. Wallace enters the University of North Carolina's Graduate School of Social Work, hitchhiking 80 miles to Chapel Hill and returning home weekends. Ina teaches home economics at Stedman High School.
Spring of 1939: Another move, this time to Salisbury, in the rolling piedmont, where Wallace works for the North Carolina Welfare Board.
April 7, 1939: Wallace Jr. is born.
Late Spring of 1939: The Kuralts move to Washington Park, near the North Carolina Welfare Board's eastern headquarters.
Fall 1939: Charles begins kindergarten at St. Agnes Academy, a Catholic School. Though barely five, he is promoted to the first grade. He later writes that he heard his first French words at St. Agnes. "I remember the word for piano," he would later write. "It is piano. I thought I could catch on to French if it continued that way."
Summer 1941: The Kuralts move to Birmingham, Alabama, then to Atlanta, where Wallace works with the Social Security Board. Charles mimeographs his own newspaper, The Garden Gazette, hawking news about newborns and new neighbors at 2 cents a copy.
December 25, 1941: Charles' maternal grandfather dies, John William Bishop. Charles never visited the farm after his grandfather's death.
July 1945: The Kuralts move to Charlotte, where Wallace is appointed Mecklenburg County Welfare Superintendent.
Fall 1945-Spring 1946: Charles attends Sharon School as a sixth-grader.
Spring 1946: Charles, age 12, places second in an annual sports-writing contest, "My Favorite Hornet," sponsored by the Charlotte News.
Fall 1946: Charles enters Alexander Graham Junior High, where he studies his first journalism courses under Anne Batten. He begins to write for the school newspaper, The Broadcaster. Age 12.
Fall 1947: Charles begins a column for The Broadcaster. He calls it "Kaleidoscope." A classmate, Jack Claiborne, remembers having to look up the word.
Spring 1947: Places second again in the "My Favorite Hornet" contest. Buddy Carrier places first. The two travel with the Charlotte Hornets, then a minor league baseball team, covering six names in Asheville and Knoxville for the Charlotte News.
Fall 1948: Charles becomes co-editor of The Broadcaster with Jean Alexander Chase. He talks to her about becoming editor one day of the New York Times.
Spring 1948: At age 14, Charles wins a speaking contest, "I Speak for Democracy," sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters. As one of four national winners, he visits Colonial Williamsburg and the White House, where he meets President Truman. Edward Murrow reads part of Charles' speech on radio.
Fall 1948: Enters Central High School. Works afternoons at WAYS, a local A.M. radio station. His friends are told that Charles is the youngest radio announcer in the country. Also does color for the home baseball games of the Charlotte Hornets and occasional play-by-play. At age 15, he broadcasts football for the Charlotte Clippers.
Spring 1949: Charles' girlfriend, Barbara Simmons, places first in, "My Favorite Hornet." Simmons signs her entry "Lee Simmons," because the contest is open only to boys. Her win shakes Charles' confidence. "I get so scared sometimes," he tells her. "What if I don't make it?"
Summer 1949: Travels to Northwestern University with Landon Smith, where Charles has a scholarship to attend a writing program for high school students at Northwestern University. He would have gone to college there, he wrote in a letter to Wesley Wallace, but he was talked out of it, told he belonged in Chapel Hill.
Spring 1951: Travels to Chapel Hill to hear Edward R. Murrow speak. Kuralt's "heart beat faster," he wrote to Wesley Wallace. "There he was in [the] same room." Graduates Central High at age 16. Voted most likely to succeed.
Fall 1951: Enters the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Works Sundays at a radio station in Sanford, North Carolina.
1952: Initiated into Phi Eta Sigma.
1953: Works at WUNC, the student-run station. Become staff-writer for the Daily Tar Heel, the student-run newspaper. That spring, Charles runs for editor and wins.
Summer 1953: Charlie Crutchfield, head of Charlotte's WBT radio, hires Charles to work during the summers. Kuralt occaionally appears in front of camera at WBTV to do a commercial. He would have gone to work for WBT after college had the station had much of a news department.
August 25, 1954: Marries Sory Guthery at Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte. Reverend Emory Trainham administers the service. Landon Smith, Mack Howey and Charles Lockwood are ushers.
Fall 1954: Tapped into Order of the Golden Fleece and The Order of the Grail
Winter 1955: Tapped into Order of the Old Well.
Spring 1955: Leaves UNC without graduating. Takes a job with the Charlotte News as a general assignment reporter for $55 a week.
January 1957: Wins North Carolina Press Association's annual competition for feature writing for entry, entitled, "1946-56: A decade of progress," a story on Charlotte's 10 years of progress and written for the News' annual Progress Edition. "This entry was chosen for the top award because it took what could have been a deadly dull statistical study on the city's growth and turned it into fascinating reading," says William M. Hines Jr., national editor of the Washington Star. "It was that rare thing: A long feature that remained readable throughout."
January 1957: Wins Ernie Pyle Award for "People" columns, which ran in 1956.
1957: Turns down offer from Miami News, "because that paper looked too big."
May 1957: Begins career with CBS News for $135 a week rewriting wire stories for five-minute broadcasts. Moves to Brooklyn.
Fall 1957: Is promoted to write for the Douglas Edwards newscast.
1958: Moves to New York assignment desk.
March 1959: At 24, Charles becomes youngest person ever named a CBS News Correspondent
October 1960: Is anchor of CBS News series "Eyewitness To History."
1960: Divorces Sory Guthery, who moves back to Charlotte with their two daughters.
1961: Dropped as anchor of "Eyewitness." Ships off to Brazil, where he is the only correspondent for the network in all of South America.
June 1962: Marries Suzanna "Petie" Flosom Baird, who works for Doug Edwards.
1963: Becomes CBS News Chief West Coast Correspondent.
June 13, 1964: Transferred back to New York to cover Northeast.
January 1, 1965: Because of changes in requirements for graduation, Charles receives a BA in History from UNC.
May 25, 1966: Writes to Hughes Rudd, "I am on a diet of celery, Tab and steak and becoming thinner." In the same letter, he writes that he is tired of work of all kinds right now, having crushing long hours since November on eight or nine shows. "I sit here at the desk vicariously playing golf and undressing passing secretaries and otherwise mentally disporting."
March, 1967: Begins Plaisted Polar Expedition.
October 1967: "On the Road" first airs as the closing feature of "The CBS Evening News."
1968: His first book, "To the top of the World," is published.
January 19, 1968: Time magazine calls Kuralt a "two-minute cease fire" sandwiched between the daily barrage of riots, wars and demonstrations on the Cronkite show.
January 28, 1979: "Sunday Morning" debuts.
1979: "Dateline America" is published.
October 1980: Kuralt begins to host Morning with Charles Kuralt, CBS's weekday morningnews show.
November 1981: In Review magazine, Kuralt discusses how he is tired, tense, confined and even a bit bored in his role as anchorman for CBS's "Morning" show. He misses what he calls the "serendipity factor." He says a "constant subconscious tension" is running through him now.
1983: International Radio and Television Society names Kuralt "Broadcaster of the Year."
1985: "On the Road with Charles Kuralt" is published.
1985: Receives "Broadcaster of the Year" award.
1986: "Southerners: Portrait of a People" and "North Carolina is My Home" are published.
1990: Publishes autobiography, "A Life on the Road."
August 10, 1991: His mother dies several years after a stroke debilitated her.
March 15, 1994:Resigns from CBS News. Announces his resignation as a retirement.
April 3, 1994: Kuralt's last "Sunday Morning" is broadcast.
October 6, 1994: His father dies.
September 1995: Is hospitalized with chest pains and undergoes heart bypass surgery in October. In November, he talks about the troubles he's having recovering from heart surgery with TV Guide. He refuses to stop smoking. "Smoking brings great pleasure to me. I am going to be more attentive to my health, but I don't want to overdo it. There's a self-centeredness in American life, which is quite unattractive. I don't want to concentrate on living to be 100, spending an hour a day on the treadmill and another hour eating a salt-free dinner. It's outside my philosophy."
Fall 1995: Purchases WELY radio station in Ely, Minnesota, population 4,000.
October 1995: "Charles Kuralt's America" is published.
July 4, 1997: Charles Kuralt dies in New York City of complications from lupus.
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