Entertainment

Dan Rather's Texas-Born Sayings Made Him a Staple in Newscasting

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Dan Rather, born October 31, 1931, in Wharton, Texas, is an American news anchor and author. During his four-decade employment with CBS, he covered some of the most important historical events, including the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, many presidential campaigns, election nights, and the Watergate scandal.

Rather's family settled in a Houston neighborhood, which put him in the perfect position to continue his education at Sam Houston State Teachers College (Sam Houston State University), where he studied journalism. In college, he scored his first broadcasting job at the local radio station in Hunstville. He worked for KTRH in Houston and then became the director of news and public affairs at KHOU-TV in Houston, a CBS affiliate. His live coverage of Hurricane Carla earned him a job as a CBS correspondent in March of 1962.

Rather covered the entry of James Meredith into the University of Mississippi, reported on Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, Jr., and covered the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He served as the White House correspondent in 1964, was transferred to London, and eventually traveled to cover battlefields in South Vietnam. He covered the Watergate scandal and aggressively questioned President Richard Nixon.

Though a great journalist, he became known for his temper. In 1987, he walked off the CBS Evening News because his segment would get cut short by a tennis match. The following year, an interview with Vice President George H. W. Bush turned into a yelling match. In 2004, he was severely criticized for questioning the military record of President George W. Bush.

Rather also became known for the sayings that he used on-air. Even out of context, these are still hilarious. He was the first anchorman to go off "script" and really add personality to the news. Republicans and Democrats could find the humor in his reporting style and the heart in his one-word sign off, courage.

Always full of wit and quick on his feet, here are the best Dan Rather quotes:

Dan Rather Sayings:

"Shakier than cafeteria Jell-O."

"[Iowa is] tick-tight here."

A New Jersey Senate candidate "spent money like he had shorted Microsoft."

"If a frog had side pockets, he'd carry a handgun."

"Hotter than a Laredo parking lot"/"It was as hot and squalid as a New York elevator in August."

"When it comes to reporting a race like this, I'm a long-distance runner and an all-day hunter."

"If we don't pay attention to the lessons of the past, we're condemned to repeat the mistakes of the future."

"Are your fingernails starting to sweat?"

"You can't get a cigarette paper between 'em."

"Cross as a snapping turtle."

"This will have the people in Austin standing up like they got stuck with hatpins."

"If we say somebody's carried a state, you can take it to the bank."

"If you're disgusted with us, frankly, I don't blame you."

 

Now Watch: Dolly Parton's Siblings: Then & Now

recommended for you

Dan Rather's Texas-Born Sayings Made Him a Staple in Newscasting