Daniel Irvin "Dan" Rather, Jr. (born October 31, 1931) is an American journalist. Rather began his career in Texas and as an early-career reporter was on the scene of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas. His reporting elevated his position in CBS News, where he was White House correspondent beginning in 1964. He served as foreign correspondent in London and Vietnam over the next two years before returning to the White House correspondent position, covering the Nixon presidency, including the trip to China, Watergate scandal and ultimate resignation. When Walter Cronkite retired in 1981, Rather was promoted to news anchor for the CBS Evening News, a role he occupied for 24 years.
- Good evening. President Reagan, still training his spotlight on the economy, today signed a package of budget cuts that he will send to Congress tomorrow. Lesley Stahl has the story.
- Rather's first lines in his debut as anchor of The CBS Evening News, Monday, March 9, 1981.
- He invented the job, the job of anchoring, did it himself for 40 years, and taught two generations of anchormen, including this one, how to do it. He's retiring, but he'll be with us in spirit, and he'll be a part of every broadcast we do.
- On Douglas Edwards' retirement (1988) 
- There was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around people’s necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be ‘necklaced’ here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions...I do not except myself from this criticism...What we are talking about here—whether one wants to recognize it or not, or call it by its proper name or not—is a form of self-censorship. I worry that patriotism run amok will trample the very values that the country seeks to defend.
- Quoted by Norman Solomon in Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You, p. 23 (2003)
- [My job is] a very high trapeze act, frequently with no net.
- Those who dumb down the news, trivialize the news with in-studio shouting matches passing for debate, those who tart up the news with celebrity gossip, scandal and sensationalism are playing right into the hands of those that stand to gain the most from the news being seen as irrelevant and trivial and no more or less worth your attention than the next episode of 'American Idol.' [...] I worry that if it becomes no more than a reality show, something that could be scripted and rigged behind the scenes without anyone really getting upset about it, that our freedom of the press will become another one of those constitutionally granted rights that can be watered down and eventually taken away from us.
- Speech 3 February 2011 at San Antonio College, as quoted in Jeanne Jakle, "Rather warns media is in 'state of crisis'", San Antonio Express-News, 4 February 2011.
- To use tragedy to sow division is the hallmark of a despot.
- Rather's Facebook page, 6 February 2018 
CBS Evening News Farewell (2005)
- Final broadcast for CBS Evening News (9 March 2005 [his 24h anniversary])
We've shared a lot in the 24 years we've been meeting here each evening, and before I say 'Good night' this night, I need to say thank you. Thank you to the thousands of wonderful professionals at CBS News, past and present, with whom it's been my honor to work over these years. And a deeply felt thanks to all of you, who have let us into your homes night after night; it has been a privilege, and one never taken lightly.
Not long after I first came to the anchor chair, I briefly signed off using the word, Courage. I want to return to it now, in a different way: to a nation still nursing a broken heart for what happened here in 2001, and especially to those who found themselves closest to the events of September 11; to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, in dangerous places; to those who have endured the tsunami, and to all who have suffered natural disasters, and must now find the will to rebuild; to the oppressed and to those whose lot it is to struggle in financial hardship or in failing health; to my fellow journalists in places where reporting the truth means risking all; and to each of you, Courage.
For The CBS Evening News, Dan Rather reporting. Good night.
About Dan Rather
- 106 [degrees] in the valley...I was sweating like Dan Rather checking for forged documents.
- What are the odds that Dan Rather would have accepted such patently phony documents from, say, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?"
- Occasional candor from big-name journalists can be illuminating. Eight months after 9/11, in an interview with BBC television, Dan Rather said that American journalists were intimidated in the wake of the attacks. Making what he called “an obscene comparison,” the CBS news anchor ruminated: “There was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around people’s necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be ‘necklaced’ here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions.” Rather added that “I do not except myself from this criticism,” and he went on: “What we are talking about here—whether one wants to recognize it or not, or call it by its proper name or not—is a form of self-censorship. I worry that patriotism run amok will trample the very values that the country seeks to defend.”
- Did Rather ever break any news? Sure. He reported, in 1969, that President Nixon was about to fire J. Edgar Hoover. Except Nixon never did fire Hoover, who was still FBI director at his death in 1972. Rather also bungled a story that Nixon was about to fire a top Vietnam official. “Dan had an overwhelming drive and ambition, and at times his ambition overcame his journalistic caution,” Rather’s longtime CBS colleague Bob Pierpoint told Weisman, adding, “He had a more dramatic persona than the others.” (Pierpoint praised Rather’s “mannerism and his delivery.”)
- Dan Rather, Fake Newsman - Kyle Smith, National Review (2017)
- When Rather stormed off the CBS Evening News set in a hissy fit in 1987 because he learned that U.S. Open tennis coverage was going to bleed into the news and cost him precious face time, the network was forced into the unprecedented situation of going black for six minutes. Even being fired by CBS after the 2004 debacle in which Rather’s team, in collusion with John Kerry’s campaign, aired unverified documents about George W. Bush’s National Guard service that were almost certainly fake, didn’t teach Rather anything: He still stands by the story.
- Dan Rather, Fake Newsman - Kyle Smith, National Review (2017)