The Douglas Edwards Archives


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Douglas Edwards Chronology

1917, July 14.  Born Clyde Douglas in Ada, Oklahoma, the son of Tony (died of small pox when Douglas was a baby) and Alice [Donaldson] (both teachers). Edward’s mother had been married before; her first husband had died of typhoid fever.

1930.  Moves with his mother and older half-brother to Silver City, New Mexico where his mother took a teaching job at the State Teachers College.

1932.  Douglas and his mother move to Troy, Alabama where she works as a school principal; the half-brother stays out west. 

1932-5.  Worked as an announcer at radio station WHET, Troy, Alabama.

1934-5.  Student at the University of Alabama, at first wanting to study medicine.

1935. Works as a radio announcer for WAGF, Dothan , Alabama for 3 months.

1935-8.  Works as a member of the radio news staff at WSB, Atlanta, Georgia (a station owned by the Atlanta Journal) and as an assistant news editor on the Atlanta Journal.

1936.  Student at Emory University.

1937-8.  Student at the University of Georgia Evening College, studying journalism.

1938, fall-42. Works as announcer & news reporter at radio station WXYZ, Detroit, Michigan.

1939, August 29.  Marries Sara Byrd of Atlanta (children: Lynn Alice, Robert Anthony, Donna Claire) 

1940, October.  Returns to WSB in Atlanta as assistant news editor.

1942, December 1.  Begins work for CBS in New York as a staff announcer.

1943. Takes over as anchor of the nightly 15 minute news program The World Today, the Sunday afternoon program World News Today and the Sunday night program Report to the Nation when John Daly was reassigned as a war correspondent. Edwards had previously understudied Daly on these shows.

1945, March.  Transferred to the London office of CBS, headed by Edward R. Murrow, to cover the end of World War II. Instated as a captain in the Army.

1945.  After the war Edwards stays on in Europe as head of the Paris office of CBS. He covered the post-war elections in Germany and the start of the Nuremberg trials.

1945.  Edward’s mother finishes her teaching career in Oak Ridge, TN.

1946.  Goes on a trip organized by the U.S. Army Air Force which had as its stops Wiesbaden, Marseilles, Rome, Cairo, Iraq, Iran, Ankara, Istanbul, by train through Greece and back to Paris.

1946, May.  Returns to the United States.

1946, June-1948, August.  Anchors the network radio broadcast CBS World News Roundup. The show had started March 13, 1938 and Edwards had been reporting on it since he began at CBS in 1942. 

1946-8.  Anchors the CBS Television News on Saturday nights, becoming the first major news person from radio to begin reporting on television. At first the broadcast can only be seen in New York City. CBS had news programs on Thursday and Friday evenings also.

1947-56.  Plays the part of a news reporter (broadcasting 2 minutes of actual news) in the radio drama series Wendy Warren and the News. The main character was a woman reporter.

1947.  Takes over the Thursday night news telecast, adding to the Saturday telecast he already anchors.

1948.  Coaxial cable covers the northern Atlantic seaboard, linking Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. 

1948.  Anchors first gavel-to-gavel coverage of a political convention for CBS-TV, covering the Democratic, Republican and Progressive party conventions, all from Philadelphia. The other main correspondents were Edward R. Murrow and historian Quincy Howe. This was the first major television news event, and the first major display of the power of television.

1948, August 15-1962, April.  Anchors CBS-TV’s first nightly news program. The show was fifteen minutes long when it started and initially had no sponsor (later Oldsmobile). It was seen by some 30,000 viewers in 5 eastern cities. The program was aired from 7:30-7:45 and was still called CBS Television News.

1948.  Don Hewitt, who had been one of a group of directors for the televised CBS news, was chosen as the sole director at the request of Edwards. Hewitt continued in this role throughout the 1960’s and developed the news magazine 60 Minutes.

1949, February.  NBC nightly news begins, hosted by John Cameron Swayze. Was called the Camel News Caravan because of its sponsorship by the Reynolds Tobacco Company. The program was aired at 7:45.

1949.  Edwards reports on his first Trip to the North Pole.

1950-63.  Hosts the Armstrong Circle Theatre.

1950.  Covers attempted assassination of President Harry Truman.

1950, fall.  CBS nightly news broadcast changes its name to Douglas Edwards with the News.

1951, September.  First uses his customary greeting to the news program, “Good evening everyone, coast to coast”, prompted by the coaxial cable reaching the west coast. CBS is the first news to broadcast across the whole of the country.

1951, November 18.  Edward R. Murrow televises his first See It Now documentary news program on CBS. It commands a larger staff and better facilities than does the Edwards news program. The show (30 minutes long) runs sometimes in a regular timeslot (1952-1955) and sometimes as special programming until 1958. It played off the success of Murrow’s radio show called Hear It Now (December 15, 1950-June 15, 1951. Fridays. 9 p.m.).

1952-60.  Hosts the show Masquerade Party.

1952, April.  Receives a Certificate of Merit in the 4th annual survey of Programs and personalities of the readers of TV Guide as “The favorite network newscaster in this area” (meaning Washington, Baltimore, Norfolk, Richmond, Charlotte, Greensboro).

1952.  Covers Missouri River floods around Omaha, Nebraska. One of the first uses of news camera on location.

1952, May 27.  Receives a “Mike and Screen Press Award” at the first annual banquet of the Radio-Newsreel-Television Working Press Association for his coverage of the Missouri River floods.

1952.  Co-anchors the political conventions with Walter Cronkite.                     

1953.  ABC nightly news begins with John Daly as host.  

1953, June.  Covers the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

1954, March.  Covers the shooting of 5 congressmen in the House of Representatives by Puerto Rican Nationalists.

1955.  Edwards receives an Emmy Award nomination for “Best News Reporter or News Commentator for the Year 1954”.

1955.  TV Radio Mirror reader’s poll chooses Edwards as “Favorite News Commentator” for 1954-55.

1956, April.  Receives the George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished achievement in television journalism for “Outstanding News Program, 1955”.

1956, July.  Covers the sinking of the ocean liner Andrea Doria off the coast of Nantucket.

1956.  Edwards receives an Emmy Award nomination for “Best News Reporter or News Commentator for the Year 1955”.

1956, October.  The team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley take over the NBC nightly news broadcast from John Cameron Swayze. The broadcast is renamed The Huntley-Brinkley Report. The two had been teamed up for the first time earlier this year to cover the political conventions.

1956, December 6.  Receives the Hamilton Time Award  for his “objective and dramatic presentation of the news of the world”

1957, December.  It is reported that Douglas Edwards with the News has the single largest audience of any news medium reaching 33,975,360 viewers per week and 14,156,400 viewers per day, eclipsing all other television news shows along with all newspapers and news magazines (Variety 12/18/57).

1957-1961.  Serves as “anchorman” for the Miss America Pagaent.

1957, October-1961.  Serves as host and narrator for the Armstrong Circle Theatre.

1958.  TV Radio Mirror reader’s poll chooses Edwards as “Favorite News Commentator” for 1957-58.

1958.  Begins a 10 minute Monday-Friday radio show called Answer, Please. 

1960, March.  Douglas Edwards with the News receives an Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of News” for the year 3/1/59-3/31/60.

1960.  Takes over as host of the Sunday morning show called FYI [For Your Information]

1960.  Receives one of the first Immutable Images of Oklahoma awards.

1961.  NBC’s The Huntley-Brinkley Report is receiving larger ratings than the Edwards’ show.

1961, April.  Douglas Edwards with the News receives an Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of News” for the year 4/1/60-4/15/61.

1961, May-1964, June.  Begins serving as local late-night news anchor on WCBS-TV, New York. 

1961.  Receives the Big Red Apple award from San Jose State College for meritorious service in American journalism.

1961.  Receives special service award from the Joint Defense Appeal of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

1962.  Hosting the daily radio show The World Tonight, along with 2 other programs 

1962, April 16.  Walter Cronkite takes over the CBS evening news anchor position. Edwards continues to work with news reporting for CBS.

1962, April-1968, February.  Begins a 5 minute weekday afternoon telecast called The CBS Afternoon News with Douglas Edwards.

1966, May 10.  Marries May Hamilton Dunbar. Edwards had arranged a divorce from his first wife a short while previous to this.

1967, May.  Receives honorary Doctor of Letters degree from St. Bonaventure University. 

1968, February.  The CBS Afternoon News with Douglas Edwards is moved to a time slot just before noon and re-titled The CBS Mid-Day News with Douglas Edwards.

1970’s  Hosts Sunday morning television show For Our Times.

1970’s  Hosts the mid-morning edition of Newsbreak.

1975, June.  Receives the first Freedom of Speech Award given by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. 

1980.  Ted Turner offers Edwards the anchor position on his new CNN 24 hour television news network. CBS refuses to release him from his contract, but issues him a new contract that day. 

1982.  Receives the Broadcasting service Award from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

 1982.  Receives the Gold Mike Award for broadcast achievement at the CBS Radio Network Affiliates Convention.

1985.  Signs another 5 year contract with CBS.

1986, January 23.  Cited for special tribute by proclamation of the governor of the state of Georgia. 

1986, April 23.  Receives the Lowell Thomas Award from Marist College for outstanding broadcast journalism.

1986.  Inducted into the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

1987, September.  Receives the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Award.

1988, April 1.  Retires from broadcasting. Moves with his wife from his home in New Canaan, Connecticut to Sarasota, Florida.

1990, October.   Douglas Edwards dies of cancer.

1991, April 16.  Again cited by the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

For information about the Douglas Edwards Archives contact:

telephone: 716.375.2322

Friedsam Memorial Library
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778 USA
Telephone: 716.375.2323
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Last updated: 24 October 2007