He would end his broadcasts with his signature sign-off: "That's the way it is."
Mr Cronkite's opinion was so trusted by the US public that when he criticised the war in Vietnam, President Lyndon B Johnson is reported to have said: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."
Linda Mason, the vice-president of CBS, said Mr Cronkite had died at 1942 local time (2342 GMT) on Friday after a long illness.
US President Barack Obama said Mr Cronkite had been "a voice of certainty in an uncertain world", and had set the standard by which all other news professionals were judged.
"He invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down," he said.
"This country has lost an icon and a dear friend, and he will be truly missed."
CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus said in a statement that Mr Cronkite had "guided America through our crises, tragedies and also our victories and greatest moments".
"It is impossible to imagine CBS News, journalism or indeed America without Walter Cronkite," he said.
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