10:16 Edward R. Murrow – Buchenwald (1945) Radio broadcast from the
Edward R. Murrow KBE (April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965) was an American broadcast journalist. He first came to prominence with a series of radio broadcasts for the news division of The Columbia Broadcasting System during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States. During the war he assembled a team of foreign correspondents who came to be known as the Murrow Boys.
A pioneer of television news broadcasting, Murrow produced a series of reports that helped lead to the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Fellow journalists Eric Sevareid, Ed Bliss, Bill Downs, Dan Rather, and Alexander Kendrick consider Murrow one of journalism’s greatest figures, noting his honesty and integrity in delivering the news. Murrow was born Egbert Roscoe Murrow at Polecat Creek, near Greensboro, in Guilford County, North Carolina, the son of Roscoe C. Murrow and Ethel F. (née Lamb) Murrow. His parents were Quakers. He was the youngest of three brothers and was a “mixture of English, Scottish, Irish and German” descent. The firstborn, Roscoe Jr., lived only a few hours. Lacey was four years old and Dewey was two years old when Murrow was born. His home was a log cabin without electricity or plumbing, on a farm bringing in only a few hundred dollars a year from corn and hay.
When Murrow was six years old, his family moved across the country to Skagit County in western Washington, to homestead near Blanchard, 30 miles (50 km) south of the Canadian border. He attended high school in nearby Edison, and was president of the student body in his senior year and excelled on the debate team. He was also a member of the basketball team which won the Skagit County championship.
After graduation from high school in 1926, Murrow enrolled at Washington State College (now Washington State University) across the state in Pullman, and eventually majored in speech. A member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, he was also active in college politics. By his teen years, Murrow went by the nickname “Ed” and during his second year of college, he changed his name from Egbert to Edward. In 1929, while attending the annual convention of the National Student Federation of America, Murrow gave a speech urging college students to become more interested in national and world affairs; this led to his election as president of the federation. After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1930, he moved back east to New York.
Murrow was assistant director of the Institute of International Education from 1932 to 1935 and served as assistant secretary of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, which helped prominent German scholars who had been dismissed from academic positions. He married Janet Huntington Brewster on March 12, 1935. Their son, Charles Casey Murrow, was born in the west of London on November 6, 1945. Murrow gained his first glimpse of fame during the March 1938 Anschluss, in which Adolf Hitler engineered the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. While Murrow was in Poland arranging a broadcast of children’s choruses, he got word from Shirer of the annexation—and the fact that Shirer could not get the story out through Austrian state radio facilities. Murrow immediately sent Shirer to London, where he delivered an uncensored, eyewitness account of the Anschluss. Murrow then chartered a plane to fly from Warsaw to Vienna, so he could take over for Shirer.
At the request of CBS New York (either chief executive William S. Paley or news director Paul White), Murrow and Shirer put together a European News Roundup of reaction to the Anschluss, which brought correspondents from various European cities together for a single broadcast. On March 13, 1938, the special was broadcast, hosted by Bob Trout in New York, including Shirer in London (with Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson), reporter Edgar Ansel Mowrer of the Chicago Daily News in Paris, reporter Pierre J. Huss of the International News Service in Berlin, and Senator Lewis B. Schwellenbach in Washington, D.C. Reporter Frank Gervasi, in Rome, was unable to find a transmitter to broadcast reaction from the Italian capital, but phoned his script to Shirer in London, who read it on the air.:116–120 Murrow reported live from Vienna, in the first on-the-scene news report of his career: “This is Edward Murrow speaking from Vienna…. It’s now nearly 2:30 in the morning, and Herr Hitler has not yet arrived.”