Every Topic Every Day

an Rather Reflects on Legacy, Family, and a Bitter Departure in Long-Awaited Return to CBS

In a poignant and long-awaited reunion, veteran journalist Dan Rather made a triumphant return to the CBS News airwaves after an 18-year absence, marking a significant moment not just in broadcasting history but in the personal journey of a newsman whose career has been as storied as it has been controversial.

Appearing on “CBS Sunday Morning,” Rather, now 92, sat down for a reflective interview with correspondent Lee Cowan, just days before the premiere of a Netflix documentary chronicling his remarkable life and career. It was a homecoming of sorts for Rather, who spent an impressive 44 years at CBS, 24 of which were as the anchor of the iconic “CBS Evening News.”

However, Rather’s departure from the network in 2005 was marred by controversy and acrimony. Following a botched investigation into then-President George W. Bush’s military record, Rather found himself at the center of a firestorm that ultimately led to his exit from CBS under a cloud of scrutiny and suspicion. Despite escaping official blame for the report, Rather’s association with the incident became a defining chapter in his career, overshadowing decades of journalistic excellence.

Yet, in his return to the CBS fold, Rather did not shy away from addressing the tumultuous events that led to his departure. With characteristic candor, he spoke of his enduring love for the network, confessing, “Without apology or explanation, I miss CBS. I’ve missed it since the day I left.” It was a sentiment echoed by many who had long admired Rather’s work and mourned his absence from the airwaves.

The interview also delved into Rather’s post-CBS endeavors, including his foray into investigative journalism and rock star interviews for HDNet, a digital cable and satellite television network. In recent years, Rather has also embraced social media, using platforms like Twitter to share his insights and observations on contemporary issues, from politics to pop culture.

Throughout the interview, Rather’s passion for journalism and commitment to the truth shone brightly, underscoring his unwavering dedication to the craft that has defined his life. As he reflected on his legacy, Rather eschewed talk of professional accolades and achievements, instead emphasizing the importance of family and personal relationships. “In the end, whatever remains of one’s life — family, friends — those are going to be the things for which you’re remembered,” he remarked poignantly.

Indeed, for Rather, family has always been a cornerstone of his identity. While his professional life has been marked by triumphs and tribulations, his role as a father to his children has been a source of strength and solace. Though little is known about Rather’s children, their presence in his life undoubtedly serves as a testament to the man behind the headlines — a man whose commitment to truth, integrity, and journalistic excellence has left an indelible mark on the world.

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