The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time

List Rules
Only news anchors popular on American television.

TV news anchors have a long history of being trusted sources for world news and events. The best news anchors don't just report the news. They dissect current events and put them into perspective, often having a profound effect on politics and public opinion. Who are the most influential news anchors of all time? This list helps decide as it covers legends of American news broadcasting, including both active and retired news anchors!

In the olden days, names like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite carried much weight. In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, there are even more newscasters and TV personalities out there talking politics. Fox News brings us stars like Shepard Smith and Bill Hemmer while CNN has the likes of Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer. While women historically didn't have access to anchorwomen opportunities, a number of prominent female journalists have since risen through the ranks. In 1976, Barbara Walters was tapped as the first woman to co-anchor a nightly news program. Since then, many famous female reporters have followed in her footsteps such as Diane Sawyer and Connie Chung. 

Who are the most trusted news anchors of all time? Help decide below by voting the most influential names in journalism to the top of the list! 

Ranked by
  • Walter Cronkite
    Dec. at 92 (1916-2009)
    • Birthplace: St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
  • Edward R. Murrow
    Dec. at 57 (1908-1965)
    • Birthplace: Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
  • David Brinkley
    Dec. at 82 (1920-2003)
    • Birthplace: Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
  • Peter Jennings
    Dec. at 67 (1938-2005)
    • Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Harry Reasoner
    Dec. at 68 (1923-1991)
    • Birthplace: Dakota City, Iowa, USA
  • Tom Brokaw
    Age: 82
    • Birthplace: Webster, South Dakota, USA
  • Hugh Downs
    Age: 101
    • Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States of America
  • John Chancellor
    Dec. at 68 (1927-1996)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Ted Koppel
    Age: 82
    • Birthplace: Lancashire, England, UK
  • Tim Russert

    Tim Russert

    Timothy John Russert (May 7, 1950 – June 13, 2008) was an American television journalist and lawyer who appeared for more than 16 years as the longest-serving moderator of NBC's Meet the Press. He was a senior vice president at NBC News, Washington bureau chief and also hosted an eponymous CNBC/MSNBC weekend interview program.

  • Chet Huntley
    Dec. at 62 (1911-1974)
    • Birthplace: Cardwell, Montana, United States of America
  • Eric Sevareid
    Dec. at 79 (1912-1992)
    • Birthplace: Velva, North Dakota, USA
  • Dan Rather
    Age: 90
    • Birthplace: Wharton, Texas, USA
  • Roger Mudd
    Dec. at 93 (1928-2021)
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., USA
  • Diane Sawyer
    • Birthplace: Glasgow, Kentucky, United States of America
  • Howard K. Smith

    Howard K. Smith

    Howard Kingsbury Smith (May 12, 1914 – February 15, 2002) was an American journalist, radio reporter, television anchorman, political commentator, and film actor. He was one of the original members of the team of war correspondents known as the Murrow Boys.

  • Jim Lehrer
    Age: 88
    • Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, USA
  • Frank Reynolds
    Dec. at 59 (1923-1983)
    • Birthplace: East Chicago, Indiana, United States of America
  • Sam Donaldson
    • Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, United States of America
  • Barbara Walters
    • Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Brit Hume
    Age: 79
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America
  • Jessica Savitch
    Dec. at 36 (1947-1983)
    • Birthplace: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, United States of America
  • Cokie Roberts
    • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
  • Lester Holt
    • Birthplace: Marin County, California, USA
  • Douglas Edwards
    Dec. at 73 (1917-1990)
    • Birthplace: Ada, Oklahoma, USA